News Brief
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Youths from Nigerian origin, protest on October 29, 2020 in the center of Madrid, Spain, by police brutality, after the generalized reports of kidnapping, harassment that is taking place in the country of Nigeria.

#EndSARS: UK Parliament Deliberates Sanctions Against Nigeria

The UK government is considering imposing sanctions on Nigeria after receiving petitions from #EndSARS protestors and supporters of the movement.

According to the BBC, the UK government has deliberated implementing sanctions against Nigeria. This comes after parliament received a petition with over 220 000 signatures from #EndSARS protesters who have highlighted the major human rights violations that occurred over the past few weeks in Nigeria. Admittedly, more targeted sanctions against implicated Nigerian officials were debated after much condemnation of the idea of sanctions was also expressed by various parliamentary members.


READ: #EndSARS: Nigeria is a Nation of Elites and 'Everyone Else'

The debate commenced this past Monday evening with a live stream that lasted over an hour. According to Premium Times Nigeria, the debate was led by Theresa Villiers, a member of parliament and the petition committee. Villiers made remarks about the gross human right violations from the Nigerian government during the recent #EndSARS demonstrations. She stated that there was growing distrust of the Nigerian government after President Muhammadu Buhari stated the disbandment of rogue unit Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS) and pointed out that it was the fourth time this statement had been made since the establishment of the unit.

The UK government is also reportedly looking at withdrawing development funds but some have decried this, claiming it would affect citizens more than the Nigerian officials themselves. The focus of the debate then moved to sanctioning implicated individuals with possible travel bans. According to PulseNG, "They stressed that government officials responsible for the abuse of human rights in the country should be denied the opportunity to enjoy amenities in the UK."

Nigeria has reportedly started carrying out internal investigations and the UK will be monitoring subsequent developments. Villiers closed the debate with the following remarks: "While the minister has failed to make commitments on targeted sanctions, we believe that this will be taken seriously and investigation and justice will be carried out soon."

Watch the UK parliament debate on sanctions against Nigeria below:

E-petitions relating to Nigeria and the sanctions regime - 23rd November 2020 www.youtube.com

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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