Protesters Nigeria

The ongoing protests against police brutality in Nigeria that have forced businesses to close down are a danger to the nation’s already poor economy, a union organization warned on Friday.

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), a member organization of the Organized Private Sector of Nigeria, said in a statement that businesses could not operate in such an environment featuring heightened insecurity with collateral damage to infrastructure and property.

The “EndSARS” protests across the nation, started earlier this month, were allegedly hijacked by hoodlums who have attacked police stations and private and public properties.

These would definitely lead to a higher cost of doing business, said Timothy Olawale, head of the NECA in a statement reaching Xinhua.

The business expert added that Nigeria, battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, is slipping further into devastating protests, which have undermined law and order in the country.

Olawale said there will be a drastic reduction of foreign direct investment in the country. “The negative effects can be (more) dire than a deeper recession,” he said.

The NECA head urged the government to take measures to temper the current crisis, including instituting deep policy reforms that would address the legitimate concerns of the demonstrators.

In the past days, thousands of Nigerians took to the streets across the country to protest against reported police brutality, harassment and extra-judicial killings by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit for anti-robbery purposes.

Several cities have seen reports of violence during the protests, leading to deaths and property losses.

A total of 69 people, included civilians, policemen and soldiers, have been killed during the protests, a government spokesperson told Xinhua. Enditem

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