EXCLUSIVE: Police Threaten To Withdraw Security Detail Of Nigerian Celebrities Over #EndSARS

Sources close to HumAngle have disclosed that the Nigeria Police has implicitly threatened celebrities involved in #EndSARS protests with the withdrawal of mobile police officers attached to them.

The move is to slow down the momentum gained by the #EndSARS movement, as youth continue to protest across the country, stressing that the protest will not stop.

The use of armed police escorts in Nigeria by celebrities, expatriates, high profile persons and officials is crucial due to the high crime rate in the country.

Several celebrities including Wizkid (Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun), Falz (Folarin Falana), and Davido (David Adedeji Adeleke), who met with high-ranking members of the Police Force at their headquarters in Abuja today, have been in strong support of the ongoing #EndSARS movement.

Davido was overheard in a video posted online on Monday having a heated debate with Mr. Frank Mba, the police spokesman in Abuja, where he denied participating in the protest, “I was only there to calm my fans,” said Davido.

This is coming after Naira Marley (Azeez Fashola), who initially supported the #EndSARS protest made a U-turn and dissociated himself from the ongoing protests. He later appeared in a widely publicised video chat with the leadership of the Police.

Efforts to reach Mr Frank Mba, the Police Force’s Public Relations Officer, proved unsuccessful up until the time of filing this report. He is also yet to respond to text messages to his mobile phone.

In an interview back in 2018, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro said more than 150,000 police officers were engaged by VIPs, celebrities and politicians, providing them with protection and security services.

The police officers said this was due to how underpaid they were in the force.

Back in March 2018, the Inspector-General of Police at the time, Ibrahim Idris ordered for the immediate withdrawal of all police officers attached to VIPs, celebrities and officeholders.

The police chief later reversed the decision, citing a need for a deployment assessment.

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Hafsah Abubakar Matazu

Hafsah Abubakar Matazu is the Head of the Humanitarian and Development Desk at HumAngle, focusing on both international and national organisations providing aid, as well as contributing to the response to the crisis in Nigeria and Africa as a whole especially where it comes to insecurity. Her reporting also extends to foreign missions and other diplomatic relations in this regard.

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