Johannesburg – A group of hackers calling itself “Anonymous” has broken into multiple Nigerian government websites as part of ongoing protests against police brutality in the West African country, the local Guardian newspaper reported.
The move comes after anger over the police’s notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) erupted in the streets earlier this month, forcing the government to announce it was disbanding the unit — which is known for beating up and torturing citizens — as part of wider police reforms.
The Guardian said the group had posted about the hack on Twitter, but that its handle, created on October 12, had since been temporarily restricted by the social media giant.
On Monday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said the disbanding of SARS was the first step in protecting citizens.
“The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people,” he posted on his Twitter page.
“We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct are brought to justice. We also deeply regret the loss of life of a young man in Oyo State during the recent demonstrations.”
Buhari added that he had ordered that the circumstances of the young man’s death be thoroughly investigated, emphasising it should not be taken for granted that the majority of the men and women in the police force were hardworking and diligent.