Sports stars take to social media to condemn police brutality in Nigeria

Nigerian activist Aisha Yesufu tells CNN's Becky Anderson she's horrified by Nigerian forces opening fire on peaceful protesters in Lagos.

Posted: Oct 22, 2020 2:31 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 2:31 PM

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo and heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua took to social media to condemn police brutality in Nigeria, following eyewitness reports that soldiers opened fire on protesters in Lagos on Tuesday.

Demonstrators have taken part in daily protests across the country for nearly two weeks over widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment, and extortion by a police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Tuesday saw the state governor impose a 24-hour curfew and the deployment of anti-riot police to the city.

One witness at the protests, Akinbosola Ogunsanya, told CNN the shooting began after the lights were turned off at the Nigerian city's Lekki tollgate.

CNN has not yet been able to confirm casualties and the state governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said there were no fatalities.

Following Manchester United's 2-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Nigerian forward Ighalo posted a video message on Twitter, pleading for intervention from world leaders as well as the United Nations.

"I'm sad and I don't know where to start from," Ighalo said from inside PSG's home stadium.

"The Nigerian government, you guys are a shame to the world for killing your own citizens, sending military to the streets to kill unarmed protesters because they are protesting for their rights. It's uncalled for."

He added: "I am ashamed of this government. We are tired of you guys and we can't take this anymore.

"I want to call my brothers and sisters back home to remain safe. Be indoors, please don't come [outside]. Because this government are killers and they will keep killing if the world does not talk about this."

Britain's world heavyweight boxing champion Joshua also tweeted a video on Tuesday with a message of support for the protestors.

Born in Watford, north west of London, to Nigerian parents, Joshua is proud of his connection to the African country.

The fighter has a tattoo of Africa etched on his right shoulder, with Nigeria visibly outlined.

"In my prayers at night, I'm praying for peace and positivity because I know the people on the ground aren't trying to be heard for their own benefit. It's of benefit for the next generation," he said.

Joshua later posted a succession of tweets: "The situation has escalated, the violence and killings are horrendous. All because of people saying they want to live in peace?

"I pray God opens the gates for the heroes of Nigeria! This was never a trend for me! It's real life and I want to learn how to make lasting change.

"I'm looking at hospitals to support, along with food and care packages in the time being."

READ: Odion Ighalo -- The footballer turning Nigerians into Manchester United fans

Former Nigeria international soccer star and two-time African Player of the Year Kanu Nwankwo also reacted to unconfirmed reports that protesters were killed during Tuesday's demonstrations.

"Pray for Nigeria [...] stop the killing and no more death #EndSARS #ReformTheNigeriaPolice," he tweeted.

"Why why why [...] stop killing our people #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG #UnitedNationsHelpNigeria #UnitedNations #UnitedKingdom #UnitedStatesofAmerica."

The controversial police unit was disbanded on October 11 and a replacement force will be trained by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Reuters reported Monday, but protesters in Nigeria have demanded further police reforms.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 25°
Angola
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 19°
Huntington
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 30°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 25°
Lima
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 24°
More Clouds than Sun Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events