SARS protests: Tense calm in Nigeria after days of unrest

Relative calm has returned to Nigerian cities after more than two weeks of deadly protests against police brutality and widespread anger over the shooting of peaceful demonstrators.

In Lagos, the country’s commercial hub and the epicentre of the protests, authorities on Saturday eased a 24-hour curfew, while the streets of the capital, Abuja, gradually returned to normal.

With Lagos’s residents allowed to leave their homes between 8am and 6pm local time, some decided to go out and help government workers clean up the streets and buildings damaged by arsonists.

“The level of destruction is shocking. We can’t leave everything to the government,” said Lagos resident Chinwendu Madubuike.

“Lagos belongs to all of us. We are not happy with the destruction of buildings and burning of shops. The bit we can do is to clean up the mess and begin to rebuild what has been destroyed,” added Madubuike.

But others decided to boycott the clean-up exercise despite online appeals by some volunteers.

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