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People protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria People protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Oct. 20, 2020 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Nigeria’s Protests and the Need for Bottom-Up Reform Across Africa

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020

One of the rare times I made it through the international airport in Lagos with nary a request for a bribe, I was left feeling spooked. After all, during previous visits to Nigeria, I had had valuables seized right before my eyes under false pretenses; I had been detained in a cell awaiting ransom; and I had even once watched in alarmed disbelief as uniformed men with guns boarded my flight and extorted money from passengers, along with bottles of champagne from the crew, right there on the tarmac.

This time, as I exited the terminal, just as I was being greeted by a prearranged driver, a man in plainclothes approached to demand my passport. The driver whispered for me to ignore him and keep walking fast, after which the man in plainclothes flashed a gun under his shirt and said, “OK, you’ll see.” ...

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