Nigeria has an efficiency problem. It's why we have roads, but not good roads. We have electricity, but it is not constant. We have cell service, but it's unreliable. Oh, we have wireless Internet service, but it doesn't work. We have public schools, but they are not properly funded, so everyone who wants a good education is forced to scrape money together for private school. I could go on and on but I think we all know what I'm talking about. The whole system, is very half-assed. And SARS is merely an example of that half-assery.
The police unit, SARS, was formed in 1992 "to combat armed robbery with 'the element of surprise'" (Paquette, 2020). You know what this sounds like to me? Some Minority Report B.S. Nigerian police, at this time, could not even handle robberies that had already happened!
Many years ago, when I was about 6 or 7, my house in Ibadan was robbed. I remember that we went to the police station, but nothing came of it. We had to become our own FBI team: gathering a list of potential suspects and then making sure to stay away from them! This was the state of Nigerian police at the time! Yet...someone, somewhere, thought: "hmm, let's try to predict crime."
Unsurprisingly, the SARS unit morphed into a cancerous beast: a Yahoo boy- profiling unit that gathers suspects based on the color of their hair.
Instead of creating an intelligence-gathering agency to sniff out fraudsters on the internet platforms they actually use, SARS officials corner timid boys and girls for buying rice and pepper from their local market (this is an actual story on endsars.com).
It's the equivalent of going blindfolded to the grocery store to buy brown eggs.
What the people in power do care about though, why they refuse to turn their words into action is because they know that if they implement the changes demanded by the protesters, they concede their power.
Women are raped. Men are pummeled and bludgeoned to death. Even if a person was a burglar, a criminal or a scammer, they still don't deserve to be treated the way SARS treats innocent people.
The Former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, had the effrontery to say that social media is for "criminally minded Nigerians." This is the man that was in charge of all police in Nigeria. Well, if that's the case, doofus, why didn't you focus on gathering evidence on actual criminals on social media since that's where they are?
Here's the stone-cold truth: The government does not particularly care if SARS is disbanded or dissolved or ended or whatever new synonym the Inspector General of police decides to use. That's why they are quick to (and have been quick to since 2017) verbally dissolve them on national and international television. What the people in power do care about though, why they refuse to turn their words into action, is because they know that if they implement the changes demanded by the protesters, they concede power, and they can't have that.
Well, we are coming for you, pathetic excuses for leaders. We are coming for you.
SARs is not just a youth problem, it's an everyone issue. This is where we say enough is enough.
If you're wondering how to help, please visit endsars.carrd.co
You can also join @limoblaze_'s prayer walks/protests. Tweet #EndSars and #SarsMustEnd. Pray like crazy. Join protests. Move heaven and earth because as children of God, we can do it.
Paquette, R. (2020, October 11). Nigeria abolishes special police squad after nationwide protests. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/nigeria-sars-police-robbery-end-sars/2020/10/10/999e2400-0a48-11eb-991c-be6ead8c4018_story.html
Image credit: Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit on Twitter)
All posts by Ronke (unless otherwise indicated)