Nigerian youths are frustrated and tired and many foreigners might wonder why. The Special Anti Robbery Squad(SARS), a special unit of the Nigerian Police Force was put in place by the government in the 90’s to help in curbing criminal. activities but now they’ve become the criminal themselves.
With various crimes of robbing and extorting innocent youths to rape crimes and brutal murders, SARS officials have become the actual menace to the society. Everyday, new reports of police brutality and crimes surface, innocent people are being oppressed without a way out, sons and daughters are being killed without remorse.
The youths have finally had enough and have taken to the streets to protest peacefully and call for a complete eradication of the unit. In several states in the country including Lagos, Abuja, Ekiti, Delta, Anambra and Osun, protesters have taken to th3 streets with placards and microphones to air their grievances. With almost 4 million tweets of #EndSARS and trending No. 1 in various countries like the UK and Canada, the movement is real on social media as well.
Some of the peaceful protests were met with resistance in states like Abuja where bullets were fired and tear gas thrown into the midst of protesters forcing them to run for their dear lives and take cover in safe places. This has further agitated the youths and resulted in promises to even increase their efforts to fight the injustice being meted out.
The Nigerian Media have been found wanting as regards covering the protests so international media outlets have been called upon by Nigerians in social media. So far, news outlets like CNN, BBC World, BBC Africa and even The Shade Room have covered the protests and more are being called upon.
Nigerians have also called upon others in diaspora to lend their voice to the cause and celebrities like John Boyega have championed it on social media as well. Some other foreign celebrities who have lent their influence include Cardi B, LilBaby amongst others.
Several protests have been planned outside Nigeria in countries like the UK, Canada, Ukraine, Germany etc to show support and solidarity with marches to the Nigerian embassy in those countries.
More drastic measures have been promised if the Nigerian government fails to address the issue appropriately. They are calling for a total end to the SARS unit, not a reform and neither a ban.
The movement has started and the voices must be heard.
I’m Jokotade Okuribido, a 3rd year medical student interested in writing and creating content that explores the different aspects of life with attention to detail and the intention to entertain as well as educate.