Nigerian singer and songwriter, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, known professionally as Burna Boy, has joined the #EndSARS protests following pressure from critics and fans.
The self-acclaimed African Giant has responded with billboards across Nigeria displaying #EndSarsNow.
Thousands of youths, celebrities – including Burna Boy’s colleagues – had joined the #EndSars demonstrations to demand the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) rogue police unit.
SARS personnel had been accused of brutality, extortion and killing of innocent Nigerians.
However, Burna Boy was silent since the protest started earlier in the week, prompting criticisms from Nigerians. Responding on Saturday, the Grammy Award nominee issued a statement, saying 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.”
On Saturday evening, the singer tweeted a couple of pictures with the caption: “My #EndSARS billboards have gone up all over Nigeria”.