For the past 3 weeks, most social media networks have been inundated with the hashtag, #EndSars. If you are not a Nigerian, you might be wondering what is #EndSars and why are Nigerians pushing for #EndSars?
To help non-Nigerians catch up with the timeline, SARS is the Special Anti-Robbery Squad set up and tasked with combating armed robbery, cattle rustling, and other forms of banditry that has unfortunately taken the Nigerian social space. A long story short, the squad (SARS), became the menace they were tasked to combat.
Most Nigerians are and have been angry as a result of the police brutality meted out to citizens by SARS over the years, and the complicity by the political leaders of not enshrining the rule of law in the Nigeria economic, political, and social space.
Evidence abound online of the atrocities that have been committed by the men and women of SARS and yet none of the known erring officers have been made to pay for their extra judicial killings, instead they are allowed to remain on the force and continue their crime.
Nigerian youths started the #EndSars peaceful protest on October 8, 2020 and their voices spread like wildfire with the aid of social media. Even without a leader, they were unrelenting with their demands.
While the Nigerian government have indicated they have accepted the demands of the protesters, it still did not hesitate to suppress the peaceful protest with military force and hired government thugs. The peaceful protest which was already going on for the past 12 days, was disrupted with gunshots on the evening of October 20, 2020 when the Nigerian government ordered the shooting of unarmed peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza.
In the past week, there have been numerous deaths across cities of Nigeria in the hands of government forces while the government is still denying their involvement and working to change the narrative to their benefit. Nigeria will move forward as the youths have proclaimed, Soro Soke. They should not relent on this agitation, as now is the time for true organization to capture the political space as they have captured the social space.
Freedom is what Nigerians are currently seeking and the leaders should be more insightful and see the writing on the wall. All patriotic Nigerians should also be aware that the road to true freedom, good governance, and the rule of law will not be an easy road as there will be agents of the government and the unpatriotic ruling class that will continue to undermine this agitation by the patriotic Nigerian youths.
We pray for all the dead and injured Nigerian citizens at the hands of the Nigerian Army and the now disbanded SARS.