Protests denouncing police brutality have been reported nationwide in Nigeria on Friday, October 9, with protesters calling for authorities to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), claiming the unit is responsible for illegally detaining people and other acts of brutality. Protests have taken place in Lagos, Ughelli (Delta state), Benin (Edo state), and the capital Abuja, among other locations. In Abuja, there were reports that police utilized tear gas to disperse protesters, indicating that some protesters were injured and others arrested. There were also unconfirmed reports of gunshots in the capital, with reports suggesting both a police officer and a demonstrator may have been shot. In Lagos, protesters have reportedly been camped outside the Lagos State House of Assembly building since Thursday evening, October 8.
Further associated protests are likely across Nigeria in the near term. Transport disruptions and a heightened security presence are to be expected in the vicinity of any demonstration.
A series of protests organized by the #ENDSARS social media campaign have been held across Nigeria in recent months and the demonstrations have often led to clashes between protesters and security forces.
Those in Nigeria are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the vicinity of the demonstration, anticipate disruptions to overland transport, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly challenging in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to such areas.
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