After the protests, Nigerian Australians say police brutality in their homeland must end

Joseph Erakaha moved to Australia five years ago after studying to be a nurse in Nigeria.

The 38-year-old says he left at a time of worsening police brutality that often targeted students.

“It’s a common sight to see police checkpoints on the road, especially when you drive. So you get to be worried … you hear cases of people being shot at,” he said.

Joseph now lives in Perth and has permanent residency status in Australia, but his wife, family and friends remain in Nigeria.

Last month, thousands of people in Nigeria protested against police brutality in the country, with similar demonstrations held by the Nigerian diaspora in cities across the world, including in Australia.

“It was a distress call to say to the government that we don’t feel safe. ‘Help us’,” says Joseph, who joined a protest in Perth.

“The protests … most Nigerians would say were long-awaited. There have been ongoing reports of police brutality and unprofessionalism for many years. I was not surprised.”

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