UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman called for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to address his country on Tuesday after violence against “#EndSARS” protesters intensified and killed many.
The protests, which have taken place for two weeks now, have turned violent as protesters have been shot and killed by soldiers. A report from Amnesty International says at least 56 protesters have been killed with hundreds of others injured.
“Buhari, how is it that this is lasting for more than one, two, three, days before you take notice,” said Usman in the first of a two-part video uploaded on his Twitter.
The protests in Nigeria started after an early October incident which saw the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) shoot and kill a man in Ughelli, Delta State. The recorded incident went viral, causing people to take the streets.
“It’s tough for me right now to understand what is going on in my own country,” said Usman, 33, who was born in Nigeria and has represented the country throughout his career in MMA.
The 185-pound champion shared a post on October 10th from recording artist Burna Boy, who said “I applaud all of the protesters exercising their right to assemble and fight for justice.”
He hopes that the President breaking his silence can be a step towards fixing issues.
“You [President Buhari] can be the one to step in and bring this to a halt, but for some reason, silence has gone on long enough,” said Usman.
The Nigerian Senate issued a statement on Twitter on Tuesday, asking the President to “address the nation as soon as possible on the issue.”