PASA Statement On #EndSars

To our community,


The Pan-African Student’s Association of Cornell University strongly stands in solidarity with the Nigerian community and the protestors fighting against police brutality in Nigeria and calling for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). This band of police officers has been inflicting horrendous acts of violence against Nigerians, mainly targeting youth and profiling them as thugs or thieves. Amnesty International has documented over 80 cases of torture and execution by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020. However, the Nigerian government has not prosecuted a single officer. On October 11th, Nigerian officials declared that SARS was dissolved. However, this is far from the true solution to corruption and continuing police brutality. Protesters are calling for much-needed accountability and structural change.


On October 20th, several hundreds of peaceful protesters were shot at by the Nigerian military. Dozens were injured and there are several reported dead. This violent and unlawful massacre is a disgrace; those responsible must be held accountable. Instead of allowing peaceful demonstrations and civic engagement, the military allowed this horrific attack for the world to see. Disbanding SARS is not enough; the Nigerian people deserve justice, the families mourning deserve justice, and the brave souls who lost their lives advocating for change deserve justice. The #EndSARS and #EndPolicyBrutalityInNigeria are more than Twitter hashtags, they are the cries of a people suffering pain and injustice. The Nigerian government must respond to these calls.


We humbly acknowledge and thank the dedicated protestors and advocates in Nigeria. One of which is our incredible Alumna and previous PASA President, Tireniolu Onabajo ‘19. The youth there are showing by example that there is hope in our generation and the ones to come. We are not too young to demand better. We are not too young to stand up for what is right. We are not too young to commit to actions we believe and know will make a difference.


Currently, PASA's leadership is working to assemble a coalition with other Pan-African student organizations in the Ivy League and across the country with the ultimate goal of writing a letter to the AU. In this letter, we intend to request that the AU take action to protect the lives of innocent Nigerians and hold their officials accountable. We want to participate in this youth-led movement to demand more by optimizing our privilege as Ivy League students. We want to step up as student leaders and engaged members of the Pan-African community. As we progress in this process, we will share updates on our platforms.


To our Nigerian family, we offer you our unwavering support and condolences for what’s unfolding in your country. To our Pan-African community, we urge you to continue showing up for this cause. We urge you to spread awareness of What Is Going On in Nigeria and uplifting the voices of our brothers and sisters fighting for justice. In posts to follow we will share resources on where you can donate and participate in this fight, but in the meantime be sure to educate yourself and others on what is going on and unfolding in Africa.

Signed,

The Pan-African Student’s Association at Cornell University 2020-2021