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Odion Ighalo leads the way with an emotional appeal to the British government and the UN to help people in Nigeria

‘The Nigerian government is killers and will continue to kill if the world doesn’t talk about this’: Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo leads emotional call from Parc des Princes to UK government and UN amid angry protests against police brutality

  • Unarmed protesters have died in the ongoing violence in the streets of Lagos
  • Civilians demonstrate against the brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)
  • Odion Ighalo led the way with an emotional appeal to the British government and the UN
  • He and many other big names are advocating for civil servants to help Nigerian people

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has pleaded with the British government and the United Nations to help the people of Nigeria after protesters were murdered in the streets of Lagos.

In Nigeria, angry demonstrations have been going on for two weeks as civilians speak out against the brutality of a now defunct section of the police, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Up to 12 people have been reported to have been killed and others injured after soldiers opened fire in the city’s Lekki district on Tuesday, and Ighalo is one of a high-profile group of athletes who have spoken out on social media.

Odion Ighalo made an emotional request to the British government to help his fellow Nigerians

Odion Ighalo made an emotional request to the British government to help his fellow Nigerians

Mario Balotelli was among those who posted a photo of a blood-stained Nigerian flag amid ongoing violence

Mario Balotelli was among those who posted a photo of a blood-stained Nigerian flag amid ongoing violence

Michael Essien posted a 'Pray for Nigeria' photo on his own Instagram account

Michael Essien posted a 'Pray for Nigeria' photo on his own Instagram account

Mario Balotelli was among those to post a photo of a blood-stained Nigerian flag (left), while Michael Essien shared a ‘Pray for Nigeria’ message on his own Instagram account

In an emotional video filmed on the field in the Parc des Princes following United’s victory over PSG, Ighalo accused the Nigerian government of being ‘murderers’ and urged British politicians and the UN to help.

Ighalo, a Nigerian international, said: “I am sad and heartbroken and I don’t know where to start. I’m not the kind of guy who talks about politics, but I can’t keep quiet about what’s happening at home in Nigeria.

‘I would say [to the] the government is a disgrace to the world – for killing your own citizens, sending soldiers out to the streets, to kill [unarmed] protesters for protesting for their rights. It’s inappropriate.

Today, October 20, 2020, you will be remembered in history as the first government to send soldiers to the city to kill their own civilians.

‘I am ashamed of this government. I’m tired of you. I can’t take it anymore. I’m calling the British government, calling all those leaders in the world to see what’s going on in Nigeria and help us – help the poor citizens.

‘The government is killing its own citizens. We call [the world’s governments], the United Nations, to settle the matter.

Protesters gather in the streets of Nigeria, where protests have been going on for two weeks

Protesters gather in the streets of Nigeria, where protests have been going on for two weeks

Protesters gather in the streets of Nigeria, where protests have been going on for two weeks

Nigerians protest the police brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)

Nigerians protest the police brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)

Nigerians protest the police brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)

“I want to tell my brothers and sisters at home to stay safe. Be in, please don’t come [outside]. Because these governments are killers and they will continue to kill if the world doesn’t talk about this. ‘

Gary Lineker was one of the first to support Ighalo by retweeting the video to his 7.7 million Twitter followers.

Anthony Joshua was also quick to support his countrymen in the midst of the ugly scenes in Lagos, posting his own video to Instagram.

In it he said: ‘In my prayers at night I pray for peace and positivity. I know the people on the ground are not trying to be heard for their own benefit, but for the next generation. ‘

A man writes 'End SARS' and 'End Police Brutality' on the street during protests in Lagos

A man writes 'End SARS' and 'End Police Brutality' on the street during protests in Lagos

A man writes ‘End SARS’ and ‘End Police Brutality’ on the street during protests in Lagos

The boxer went on to say that he is sending healthcare packages to the country while unable to travel to Nigeria, and plans to go there to help out more when he gets through his next fight against Kubrat Pulev on December 12.

In the meantime, an indefinite curfew has been instituted in Lagos in an attempt to quell the ongoing violence between civilians and the police and army.

The BBC reports that armed soldiers were seen barricading the protest site minutes before the shooting took place, with live-streamed social media footage of protesters tending to the injured.

A witness told the company that shortly before 7:00 p.m. local time, soldiers ‘stopped and started shooting directly’ at the peaceful protesters.

A man holds a banner while demonstrating against police brutality from members of SARS

A man holds a banner while demonstrating against police brutality from members of SARS

A man holds a banner while demonstrating against police brutality from members of SARS

They continued: ‘They fired and they came right up to us. It was chaos. Someone was hit right next to me and he died on the spot.

“It was a pandemonium and they kept shooting and shooting at us. It took about an hour and a half and the soldiers picked up the bodies. ‘

Michael Essien, Alex Iwobi, Emmanuel Adebayor, Mario Balotelli, Wilfred Ndidi and John Obi Mikel are among the other high-profile names who have posted photos and videos on their social media channels in an effort to raise awareness and support Nigerian citizens.

Many have posted an emotional photo of a blood-stained Nigerian flag to show the extreme violence taking place in the African country.

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