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What's Up Africa: British Government Hiding Secrets??

This week's episode of What's Up Africa looks at Britain's dark colonial past, and cultureshocknigerians.com, a website that asks Nigerians stateside questions about Africa.

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This week’s episode of What’s Up Africa brings up dark secrets from the British government’s colonial era, as well as looks at a  website that interviews members of the Nigerian community in the US, and ends with a focus on a band that infuses their tracks with solid, and relatable lyrics.

Ikenna manages to inject a healthy dose of humor into a topic that would be given a passing mention in your daily newspaper. He pokes fun at how a government will actively deny any involvement in a particularly bloody series of events in it’s history. That is up until “secret government papers” state that said events did happen.

A brief glimpse is given into cultureshocknigerians.com which holds on-the-spot interviews with members of the Nigerian community in the US. Two particular individuals highlighted are Ikenna’s favorites, “The King” and someone Ikenna calls “Nigeria’s answer to Paris Hilton”.

To wrap things up on a more creative tone, the spotlight is shone on Thabo & The Real Deal, a band based in the UK lead by Zimbabwean singer Thabo Mkwananzi. With a few samples off of their album World War Free and shots of them recording said album you might just want to rush out and buy it right after the segment ends.

Story by OKA contributor Kristopher Charles.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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