The Lagos state government has announced that the previously imposed 24-hour curfew has been reduced as of Saturday, October 24, after multiple days of violent protests against police brutality. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the announcement that from Saturday, people will be allowed to freely travel and trade between the hours of 08:00-18:00 (local time) while the updated curfew will remain in effect between 18:00-08:00. Local reports state that despite the reduction of the curfew, city streets and businesses were largely empty.
President Muhammadu Buhari announced that at least 51 civilians and 18 members of security forces had been killed during the violent unrest. A further 37 civilians have reportedly been injured. The president blamed the violence on "hooliganism" and asserted that security forces had acted with restraint. Buhari stated that rioters had killed 11 police officers and seven soldiers, as authorities claimed that the protest's initial aim of police reform had been hijacked by violent thugs.
Continued protests are possible throughout Nigeria over the near term. A heightened security presence and associated transport and business disruptions are to be expected near protest sites.
A series of protests organized through the #EndSARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) social media campaign have been held across Nigeria over the past few months and intensified in recent days, with demonstrations having led to fatal clashes between protesters and security forces. Unrest has continued despite an announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari that the controversial SARS police unit would be disbanded and replaced by a new agency called SWAT, a move which protesters have rejected.
Those in Nigeria are advised to monitor the situation, adjust travel itineraries and avoid unnecessary overland movement in the immediate term, avoid the vicinity of any demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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