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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: A demonstrator holds a sign during a candlelight procession to remember victims of SARS and those assaulted by Nigeria Police gather at Trafalgar Square on October 18, 2020 in London, England.

#EndSARS: Nigerian Sports Stars Speak Up in Support of Ongoing Protests

Nigerian sports stars have amplified their voices through the continued #EndSARS banner by revealing their own harrowing experiences with the rogue special police unit.

Nigeria's most prolific sports stars have joined the ongoing #EndSARS protests after revealing to BBC that SARS allegedly targeted several sports stars. This follows the continued countrywide public demonstrations which have called upon for President Muhammadu Buhari to completely disband the rogue special force unit. While Buhari announced on October 10th that SWAT will now replace SARS, Nigerians believe that it is a mere "rebranding" of SARS with the same officials. More recently, African-American celebrities, Nigeria's professional sports stars and Nigerians in the diaspora such as Canada, the US, Germany and England have protested in solidarity with the #EndSARS movement. Both Nigerian national soccer teams have used social media to amplify their voices.


Read: Breaking Down Nigeria's #EndSARS Protests and How You can Help

In an interview with the BBC, Nigeria's national soccer team player, John Ogu, shared his experience with SARS saying:

''Everyone has a story about this Sars. You'll be driving your car and Sars will pull up in front of your car. At first, you'll think that they're armed robbers because of the way they are dressed, the manner of how they talk."

SARS' clashes with Nigerian sports stars has reportedly been the norm as demonstrations have revealed that they allegedly target "flashy" personalities and follow outdated biased profiling of Nigeria's youth. Peter Moreno, Nigeria's decathlon record holder, also expressed to BBC that he was targeted because he has tattoos and dreadlocks. SARS profiling allegedly includes targeting youth that appear to be queer as homosexuality remains criminalised in Nigeria.

The call to end police brutality is a collective one among Black people across the world. #ZimbabweLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter have both been prominent demonstrations this year that have highlighted the government's bias towards marshal law.

Take a look at just some of number of responses to #EndSARS from Nigerian athletes below.

Alexander Iwobi who plays for Everton and the national Nigerian soccer team.

International female basketball player Chiney Ogumike.

Championship winning boxer, Anthony Joshua.

National team soccer player and international soccer star Asisat Oshoala.

Nigerian track athlete Blessing Okagbare shared her support on Instagram.

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Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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