Victor Ugochukwu · Oct 18, 2020 . 6min read
Nigerian youths resort to Bitcoin and Crypto donations to sustain the nation’s biggest protest of the decade
Bitcoin gains traction amidst Nigeria's nationwide protest against notorious police unit Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS).
By Victor Ugochukwu · Oct 15, 2020 . 6min read
The largest-ever revolt by the Nigerian youths which sparked up nationwide protests has now resorted to them turning to Bitcoin for donations and international aid.
Having endured Police brutality, extra-judicial killings and extortion for more than three decades from a notorious police unit called SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad), the youths decided that enough was enough.
Christening their agitation #EndSARS, the youths held massive online anti-SARS campaign online, Twitter especially with more than 500 million retweets for #EndSARS hashtag.
While the citizens continued to make demands of the government, the Nigerian Police seemed unhinged in stopping its brutalities. Many peaceful and unarmed protestors were wounded, and some even killed. Flutterwave – a fintech company that partnered with Binance to enable Crypto-Naira deposit and withdrawals set up a donation link. The funds were for settling medical bills for those injured while protecting against SARS brutality.
After the link stopped working, rumours had it that the Central Bank of Nigeria forced the hands of Flutterwave to shutdown the donations link.
Nigerian youths quickly switched to Bitcoin and Crypto donations.
Because protest is a constitutionally protected human right and Nigerians see it as an opportunity to call for change and lasting reforms, they turned to Bitcoin and crypto for donations at the news of the Central Bank Flutterwave donations link ban.
Several people started suggesting protesters to use Bitcoin to evade Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alleged ban.
Freelancers, crypto traders, tech CEOs and workers, etc., were among the most targeted by the rogue police unit.
Many people during this nationwide protests narrated their horrendous experience in the hands of the notorious police unit. So many accused SARS officers of abducting them and forcing them to open their bank or payment apps. And against their will (the victims) SARS extort them.
Among one of the Nigerian youths protesting was Yele Bademosi, founder and CEO of Bundle Africa, a Bitcoin and crypto social payment application. Moreover, Yele in a Twitter thread recounted his experience with SARS.
The government of Nigeria have since caved in to the demands of the youths and disbanded the rogue police unit. However, the youth who see this as a golden opportunity to reform the country are not backing down. They are calling for more changes.
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Komal Joshi · Oct 17, 2020 . 5min read