Celebrities support protests against police brutality in Nigeria

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#EndSARS protesters occupy Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria on Friday, October 9 2020. The protesters are calling for the scrapping of police unit, known as Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) over the squads incessant harassment and brutality of innocent Nigerians. Picture: Adekunle Ajayi/ via Getty Images
#EndSARS protesters occupy Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria on Friday, October 9 2020. The protesters are calling for the scrapping of police unit, known as Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) over the squads incessant harassment and brutality of innocent Nigerians. Picture: Adekunle Ajayi/ via Getty Images

NEWS


Rihanna, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj are among the many celebrities who have come out to support protests against police brutality in Nigeria. But protesters hit out when Beyoncé spoke up.

Protesters say that on Tuesday night in Lagos, men in army fatigues closed in and shot at them while they sang the national anthem, something the army denies as fake news.

The irony struck a chord across the world.

South African comedian Trevor Noah said: “Just like we’ve seen in the US, the police in Nigeria are responding to protests about police brutality with more police brutality.”

A host of international A-list celebrities showed their support for the protesters.

Rihanna tweeted a picture of a blood-soaked Nigerian flag. Minaj talked directly to protesters in her tweet in solidarity, saying: “Your voice is being heard.”

Read: #EndSars protests: John Ogu calls for Nigeria team boycott

And then Beyoncé’s statement came. Through her charity, BeyGood, she said: “I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria ... We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter.”

This did not go down well with tweeps, who were offended that Beyoncé appeared to assume the protesters were poor.

“Who told Beyoncé that we are hungry?” asked digital entrepreneur Papi Jay (@JohnMarsAuto).

“Who told Beyoncé that we are hungry? Sis, just lend your voice like Riri and co,” Papi Jay wrote.

That sentiment was echoed by skincare vendor Mercy Ehimare.

“Can somebody tell this woman we are not hungry??? We need support to fight for our existence,” she replied.

Beyoncé has more than 15 million followers on her personal Twitter account, so a tweet from that account would reach many people.

But they were left frustrated, said @dor_gd, who pointed out that Beyoncé only supported protesters on her charity account.

Critics also said she turned up late to the protests. – BBC


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