The Hand Grenade
by W. Bernell Brooks lll on 10/15/20
Update: October 22,
#ENDSARS Protesters Shut Nigeria Down:
On Wednesday, Nigeria's #EndSARS protesters ramped up their offensive against the Buhari government and its hated Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) mercenaries.
Protesters sacked and burned police stations and courthouses, and attempted to storm the Ikoyi Correctional Center to lead a mass jailbreak. Sound familiar? It should.
Like Minneapolis, Kenosha, Louisville, Rochester, and Portland, protesters focused their rage against the hard targets of state repression and murder. This is the new playbook in the era of Black Lives Matter 2.0, and Nigeria is on script.
Indeed, #EndSars activists also paid a friendly visit to a TV station pumping out state-run news airing Buhari's rant urging protesters "to resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy." What?
Are the Nigerian people misinformed about the thugocracy of SARS after thirty years? Are the Nigerian people confused about who slaughtered twelve unarmed peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza? "Truncating nascent democracy?" What the hell is that: a threat to go back to the good old days of "dictatorship and order?
It is the Nigerian government that is denying reality, as Buhari's national emergency speech refused to even acknowledge the killing in Lagos of his own citizens. It is Buhari and his corrupt government that are being used by Western imperial governments, big oil corporations, and the IMF, who are subverting the national destiny of the Nigerian people.
Meanwhile, the Biafra Nations Youth League BYNL, issued a warning the against security operatives in the country, that any attempt to apply "Lekki style" attacks on protesters in the South-East and South-South regions will be met with strong resistance.
According to the Daily Post, the BYNL said all necessary arrangements have been made should the ongoing crisis result in war. The warning was issued by BYNL national leader Princewill Chimezie Richard. Richard accused the Buhari regime of "planting hoodlums among peaceful protesters to escalate the crisis and declare a state of emergency.”
On Thursday, gunfire rang out around Lagos. Other parts of the city were deserted. The 24-hour curfew imposed on the city is nothing more than a rolling state of emergency before another crackdown--it mirrors the state of the country.
Nigeria is in a state of emergency. As New Black Nationalists have insisted this crisis began, nobody knows where this spiraling crisis is going to end. What we do know is that with each passing day, the governance crisis in Nigeria deepens. So does the determination of the #EndSARS movement to create a new future. Stay tuned, the struggle for Nigeria's future is just beginning.
Update: October 20, 2020
#EndSARS Protesters Killed in Lagos, But You Can't Murder a Revolution
Today, New Black Nationalists in America's settler state, condemned the massacre of #EndSARS protestors in Lagos. The shootings occurred just hours after Lagos state Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu tweeted that the growing protests against police brutality had "degenerated in to a monster that threatening the well-being of our society. The attacks bore all the hallmarks of pre-meditated mass murders.
At the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza on Tuesday, soldiers showed up around 6:45 in the evening, and barricaded an area where peaceful protesters were demonstrating. Once the soldiers opened fire, the protestors were trapped in the "kill zone," and ambulances could not breach the barriers to treat the wounded.
Reports are surfacing that the police fired on demonstrators for more than an hour, and were collecting the dead and injured as the killing continued.
The Lekki Toll Gate Plaza massacre was a planned deliberate attempt to drown Nigeria's two-week mass protests demanding an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in blood. But you can't murder a revolution. Calling out the army won't do it. Quite the opposite, it is going to inflame millions more against Nigeria's criminal regime.
As New Black Nationalists have stated since the global protests began after George Floyd's assassination, we are now in the era of Black Lives Matter 2.0. Whether in Kenosha, Louisville, West Papua, Brisbane, Sao Paulo or Lagos, Black people are not going to be intimidated by riot police, army tanks and curfews. Those days are over, as Nigeria corrupt government is discovering.
Today also marks the first day of the Nigerian Army's first two-month national exercises called Operation Crocodile Smiling. The operations that usually take place in Nigeria's Delta region are expanding nationwide.
Army spokesman Sagir Musa, denied the exercises have anything to do with smashing the spreading protests, despite the fact that the army issued a statement warning it was ready to support the civil authority to maintain "law and order" in dealing with "subversive elements and trouble makers." It's already started today in Lekki.
Nigeria's Buhari-led government is in deep trouble. The Nigerian people gagged but swallowed the fuel price hikes; they endured rising food prices; they swallowed the tanking economy racked by COVID-19, but the damn broke with the wonton violence and corruption visited on its people.
Nigeria may be headed to place where the country hasn't been, at least since the civil war in Biafra. Things are spinning out of control.
What is also absolutely stunning is the silence in European capitals and in Washington, D.C. The country with the second largest economy on the African continent after Egypt, is tottering on brink of disaster.
Yet, there are no urgent cables, press conferences and public diplomatic "statements of concern," emanating from from foreign embassies. Indeed, all the noise is being made by Nigerian diaspora protesters at the gates of embassies scattered across the world. In Maryland, on Tuesday night, #EndSARS protesters besieged Nigeria's American embassy.
Western imperialist enablers of Nigeria's government are caught between a rock and a very hard place. They can either back Buhari's murderous reign of blood and authoritarian crackdown to restore order, or side with the people, and risk isolating Buhari's faltering rule.
The Nigerian people's unrelenting struggle, led by its millennial youth is earth shaking event for Nigerian, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Black diaspora. In the United States, Black communities everywhere must step up their support for the #EndSARS revolutionary movement.
Statement on October 17, 2020
On behalf of New Black Nationalists in America's settler state, we congratulate the youth, and all #EndSARS activists in Nigeria and throughout the diaspora in forcing President Buhari to direct the disbanding of the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad. On October 12, Nigeria's Inspector-General of Police, Muhammad Adamu announced the dissolution of SARS.
We are under no illusions that Adamu's announcement proclaiming the end of SARS 28-year reign of kidnappings, extra-judicial killings, rape, theft, torture, and extortion will magically end. It is a subterfuge to mask the reassignment and redeployment of these lawless elements to other units and special jurisdictions.
They won't get away with it. They don't understand that this generation of Nigerian youth is unlike any other. They are committed, unafraid, inspired by the global Black Lives Matter movement, and End-SARS marches in the UK, Germany, Canada, the U.S., and other countries in the diaspora.
The 30 million #EndSARS tweets registered over a 48-hour span before October 12, overwhelmed #BlackLivesMatter's global hashtag dominance. This is staggering accomplishment, whose long-term implications are yet to be imagined.
In August, New Black Nationalists characterized the global Black consciousness upsurge since George Floyd's execution in May, as Black Lives Matter 2.0. Nigeria's #EndSARS movement bears all the hallmarks of BLM 2.0. It is millennial-based, determined, uncompromising, creative, digital, confrontational and expansive in its horizons.
New Black Nationalists are animated by Nigeria's youth taking a bold stand that that the entire Nigerian police structure must be reformed. Governors in places like the River State are discovering they are no longer free agents, exempt from making serious changes. When River State Governor Nyesom Wike said anti-SARS protests would be banned, he immediately felt the people's wrath and reversed his statement.
As we go to print, protests continue to spread to additional Nigerian states. In Ibadan, Nigerian army troops crossed over to join the marchers. That imagery paints a very disturbing picture for Nigeria's powers that be. The insurgency is spreading and sinking deeper roots.
New Black Nationalist support the five demands signed by "A Nigerian Youth" calling for the immediate release of all persons arrested during the protesters, justice and compensation for all who have died at the hands of Nigeria's police, establishing an independent body to investigate and prosecute all law enforcement personnel engaged in police misconduct, and psychological evaluations for all officers before their transfer to other units.
The #EndSARS movement actually marks the beginning of a counter-carceral movement that could metastasize across Africa. As Rosebell Kagumire, editor of AfricanFeminism.com pointed out, earlier this summer police in Nairobi, Accra, and Kampala violently dispersed protesters demonstrating against the draconian police measures in their own countries.
Nigeria's revolutionary upsurge is an extremely important part of the new global Black consciousness movement that is raging from the liberation struggles of indigenous Blacks in West Papua's against Indonesian colonization to Brazil's growing Black identity movement.
It's also one of the reasons New Black Nationalist are urging Black activists across the planet to join the conversation on creating a new Black Diaspora Movement. As the revolt across Nigeria signifies, we are moving into a new era of struggle, decolonization, liberation and revolution.