Today and tomorrow, I'd be using this challenge to create awareness of #PoliceBrutality in Nigeria and to #EndSARSImmediately. No Fun or Fantastic Facts Friday today.

Are you even aware of the everyday-SARS harassment, extortion, and killings? Oh, I bet you don’t know because it’s not yet your turn or your loved ones’. Or is the media? Leave the Nigerian broadcasting TVs for a moment because they probably just proved to us that the youth are not their priority but the government. 

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was created in 1992 by Simeon Danladi Midenda, a former police commissioner mainly because a Nigerian army Colonel was killed by police officers in Lagos. When this happened in 1992, the Nigerian army raged war against the police. This prompted some of them to resign while others left the police without notice. Due to the absence of the Nigerian police, it was observed that crimes were on the increase. Hence, SARS was formed and monitored by the Nigerian army. Along the line, the Nigerian police and army came to a mutual agreement, and the police officially commenced their duties in Lagos. Thereafter, in Lagos, SARS was officially commissioned by the army. That is, SARS was saddled with the responsibilities to detain, investigate, and prosecute people 'involved' in armed robbery, kidnapping, and the likes.

Nonetheless, SARS became a pain in the ass when they started prosecuting innocent youth in Nigerian universities in 2009. SARS wasn’t formed to carry guns about or kill anyone. It wasn't established to harass or extort anyone.  It was meant to protect Nigerians from armed robbers, kidnappers, and the likes. Ironically, the ones that are meant to protect us are the ones hurting us. They keep extorting young people because they own cars, iPhones, iWatches, and other expensive things; wear designers or dreadlocks. They make them bring their cars to a halt, slap them on the faces, and kick them in their asses. They make them bring out their phones, run a background check, and when they find nothing, they demand money. They drag them to their offices or ATMs and ensure they drop money. They also kill innocent people and take their cars while they leave their bodies for the birds of the air and the land to feast on. They keep shortening the lives of young people and causing unending pain and sorrows to their parents and loved ones. Most importantly, the street is no longer safe for anyone. Yes, not even you.

Innocent people are being harassed daily just because of what they own and wear. Is it a crime for young people to be successful? Is it a crime for youth to own expensive stuff? I’m not denying the fact that there are internet fraudsters in the country contributing to crime. The point is, SARS doesn’t do its work anymore. Rather, they keep extorting both criminals and the innocents. They extort a lot from the criminals leaving them with no option than to continue doing what they are doing. Hardly would you hear that a criminal was detained or brought to book. All you hear is SARS harassment and police brutality. They extort the innocents and make them grieve while everybody’s life is on the line. 

You might conclude that this is a gender war, the point is, if this menace is not brought to an end, you are not safe. Not even the females. Just yesterday, 8th October 2020, a lady was shot in the mouth at Opebi road, Ikeja, Lagos on a peaceful protest to end SARS. If this is not brought to an end, not only the males would be harassed, extorted, and shot dead but everyone not excluding the females. 

I’ve witnessed young people being harassed. On Saturday, 4th October 2020, on my way to the national museum for the annual exhibition, I saw a young man, probably in his early 30’s being harassed. While coming from work every day before this month commenced, I can’t count the number of young people I saw being harassed. My loved ones also have their share of police brutality, harassment, and extortion. One was slapped on the face and detained for a night until he gave them money while some were extorted.

Also, while coming back from the museum that Saturday evening, the Uber driver told my friends and I to put down our phones. He said the light from our phones could attract SARS. He was so scared and you could literally see him fidgeting while on the wheel. 

Is this the Nigeria of your dream? Is it until you or your loved ones are being harassed, extorted by SARS before you do something? I know that most of us are not aware of this menace because the media are not airing it. Hence, this post. This is a call to action. A call to be careful out there. A call to join the protest in different states or online by using the hashtags, #EndSARS #EndSARSImmediately #EndSARSNow #EndSARSProtest and #PoliceBrutality. If you can, lend your voice to the world, help us tag international media on your platforms. Use your platforms to spread the word and create a new Nigeria for you and your loved ones to live in. Just like the #BLM movement, this is our own movement.

If you live outside Nigeria, lend your voices.

Help create awareness. 

Use the hashtags on your platforms as well. 

Thank you for following.

#EndSARSImmediately #EndSARSProtest #PoliceBrutality #EndSARSNow


Award Winning Blogger, Social Media Optimizer/Strategist & Entrepreneur.

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