Singer Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy, has bowed to pressure from fans and critics and officially joined the #EndSARS movement which seeks the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.
Burna Boy issued a statement on Saturday amid knocks from Nigerian youths who had expressed disappointment over the musician’s silence.
The self-acclaimed African giant said the protest should not be about him but about deeper issues.
He wrote, “I have taken the past week to gather my thoughts. I usually respond to these matters with my emotions and frustrations. This time I have chosen to ignore the attempts; well-meaning or derogatory to draw me out. This is not and should not be about me. It is about a fundamental problem that affects us all Nigerians, as Africans, and as human beings.
“The state of our country, Nigeria, is tricky; it has been from before I was born. My greatest concern in all of this is that SARS will end now as it allegedly has several times in the past (I recall giving calls to end SARS during my USA tour in April 2019 and morph into a different entity down the line with a different form or a different name. In my opinion, abolishing the unit is a definite first step but we cannot afford to stop there.”
The Grammy Award nominee applauded the protesters for exercising their right to demonstrate.
He also stated that he had created a fund that would be used in helping protesters that are wrongfully arrested by the police.
The singer added, “I have created a sub-fund under my charity- The Reach called (@ProjectProtectng) to help protesters that are wrongfully harmed/arrested by SARS during and after these protests. This is a fund for the people by the people.”
Thousands of Nigerian youths have been protesting police harassment and extrajudicial killing by SARS, a specialised unit that was created over a decade ago to tackle armed robbery.
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Over the years, however, SARS operatives started extorting money from youths driving big cars, using expensive phones, laptops or wearing dreadlocks.
The harassment has on several occasions degenerated to killings.
The fresh protests which began on Thursday, has been endorsed by both local and international entertainers and several other prominent figures.