In a series of weeks, agitations from the Nigerian Youth Populace against the Special Anti Robbery Squad SARS injustice, brutality and extortion on young people has overheated. This is not a new occurrence, as there have always been cries from young Nigerians informing the government of this brutality but it has always fallen on deaf ears. All over the country, there has been reoccurring occurrences regarding this over the years with the Federal Government banning this arm of the police ineffectively. As at the end of each, the police force continues everything they were banned for.
A few days ago, Celebrities in the Nigerian Entertainment industry took it up on twitter and hashtags of End SARS, End SARS Brutality, Reform the Police started trending. This started with a retweet from Nigerian Afro-Pop singer and award-winning star Wizkid to the Nigerian President telling him to mind his business in Nigeria as young people are being killed and stop the eye service to other countries, the latter wished the US President Trump quick recovery from COVID 19 in a tweet and Wizkid agitated in a retweet. Many other celebrities took it up, including artistes and Actors in the Nollywood Industry. In the same vein, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Former Senate President Bukola Saraki also took it up condemning the injustice.
Not long After, a tweet from the Nigeria Police surfaced containing threads of pictures and confirming that the Special Anti Robbery Squad unit has been banned from patrols and stopover of vehicles, this turned out to be completely a lie as few hours after, pictures and video pieces of evidences of police extortion and stopping vehicles began to surface on the Bird App. This led to an uproar yesterday October 8, 2020, as celebrities and young people of the Republic of Nigeria, took to the streets in various parts of the country to protest End SARS. Young people are saying they do not want this arm of the police anymore. It should be dissolved.
Runtown, Falz The Bad Guy, Mr Macaroni, Tiwa Savage, Mc Lively, Blaqbonez, Ckay, Toke Makinwa, Dr Pampam, and other notable Celebrities and influencers led this protest. There were massive protests in Lagos (Ikeja, Alausa, Oshodi, Government Secretariat), Delta, Owerri, Ibadan, and other parts of the country.
The protest continues today as protesters in Lagos slept overnight in the open with their tents, canopies, carried away by members of the police force on Orders of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police. The crowd has multiplied, with other notable Celebrities joining in the protest. On Twitter, hashtag End SARS has been trending straight for more than a week.
In Delta, the protest turned out bloody as a lady protester was shot in the mouth by the Police. Protesters were killed and in retaliation, youths killed two policemen. The Protest continues.
In Owerri, peaceful protesters were bullied and harassed by policemen. A policeman who is also a CSP was caught on camera corking his gun and reading to shoot at peaceful protesters.
Over the years, the members of SARS and the Police Force, in General, has killed thousands of armless and Harmless Nigerian Young people with the Government never doing anything to it despite overwhelming.
Last year, Kayode, a man about to be married was killed by a stray bullet from the Special Anti Robbery Squad when the deceased was coming out of a football viewing centre. Despite outrages, nothing was clearly done to bring the perpetrators to book.
This time around, young people have come out to say they do not want oppression again. They do not want the brutality again, they do not want the extortion again. They do not want SARS banned, they want SARS ended and a no response from the government would mean that they support the killings of young people by the people meant to protect them.