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Nigerian singer and songwriter – Burna Boy – born as Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu has finally spoken on the ongoing nationwide protests against alleged brutality and extortion by operatives of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS).
The End SARS Protests have taken place in several cities across the country, with demonstrators demanding a ban on SARS, a police unit accused of extensive abuse and extortion.
Burna Boy discloses why he has been of mute since the #EndSARS protest.
“I have taken the past week to gather my thoughts. I usually respond to these matters with my emotions and my frustration, 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 as 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 major issue is PROFILING. THIS MUST BE ADDRESSED BY BOTH THE AUTHORITIES ABS THE CITIZENRY. IT SHOULD NOT BE A CRIME TO BE A YOUNG PERSON IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY. The old adage that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover is a wise one.”
The seriousness of recent events has required me to express my commitment to my people in the following format: –
1. Top of mind: First and foremost, I applaud all of the protestors exercising their right to assemble and fight for justice.
2. PROJECT F’ROTECT: I have created a sub-fund under my charity -The Reach called (@projectprotectng) to help protestors that are wrongfully harmed/arrest. by SARS during and after these protests. This is a fund for the people by the people.
3. Miseducation foundation: This initiative will primarily be focused on the upward mobility of our community to give a voice and a platform. It will be a mix of sharing and providing educational actual historical information to give perspective on the origins of our nation and our continent. We will also focus on providing broader platforms to amplify the creative and tech community (no matter the field).
My music is my essence and it is primarily for the empowerment of Nigerians and Africans. I have always and will always continue to use my voice for this cause as I deem fit not because I am forced to but because I have chosen to.
Tiyamiu Kazeem, Isaac Mbge, lfeoma Abugu, Chibuike Anams, Christian Ugwuoke, Aneke Okorie, Tina Ezekwe, Solomon Eze, Ayomide Taiwo, Godspower Edoha, Kolade Johnson, Chinedu Maoists, Augustine Arebu, Tunde Nafiu, lfeanyi Ozor and those whose names are not known, may they never be forgotten.
Be safe out there family.