If you’ve not heard about End Sars, I’ll just assume you live under a rock without a phone, TV or internet and far away from human contact. For the benefit of my readers in other continents, FSARS, which stands for Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, is a special security outfit set up by the government in Nigeria to specifically combat armed robbery. They’ve been so empowered that they have, over the years, abused and exercised beyond the scope of their constitutionally-conferred scope of power.
Brief insight: A young Nigerian struggles to earn a decent living amongst all odds and decides to live a life he deserves. He gets a fancy car, an iPhone, expensive jewelry from his hard-earned money and chooses to express himself by tinting his hair (stereotype of a “yahoo boy” — internet fraudster). He gets pulled over by a SARS official who is meant to be intelligence-driven. The officer immediately profiles him, insults him. He shoots at this innocent Nigerian because he resisted him checking his phone.
This is the story of hundreds of Nigerians. This is the backstory of our revolution. You know what is funny? There’s hundred —heck!— a million things wrong with Nigeria and that’s not even the issue. We’re not asking to go back to school, we’re not asking for desirable standard of living or healthcare or good roads, or subsidized internet, reduced poverty rate or even decent jobs. We’re demanding to live. Just to live! We’re asking that our lives be not cut short by the ones who should be protecting us in the first place.
I’m really glad about this revolution. These twelve (or thereabout) days of protesting have birthed hope for every Nigerian. For the first time since I was born, I can say I have hope in Nigeria and actually believe it. The international community is listening to us. Our voices are making an impact and we’re not yielding to emotional pleas for us to leave the streets. We’re only asking for 5 for 5. The youths would not leave the streets if we do not see the sincerity and willingness of the government to fulfill our demands.
It is noteworthy that Nigerians are finally correcting the false image that the media has of us. We’re hardworking, resilient people. A generation that cleans up after the protests, provides for themselves, gathers funds for amputees, feeds and looks out for one another, chases political thugs looking to hijack the protests. This is the Nigeria I live in. This is the Nigerian I am. This is the Nigeria the international media needs to take note of.
You’re very wronggg!!
If, at this point, you’re still quiet or hush-hush about these injustices, you’ve very wrong! If you’re standing on the fence acting all lackadaisical, you’re very wrong! If you’re a Nigerian in the diaspora and you’re not speaking up because BLM is aesthetically pleasing and this is not, you’re very wrong! If you’re trying to smuggle in false ideologies into this movement, you’re very wrong! SOROSOKE WEREY!
The End Sars movement has become a metaphor for all the inadequacies, wrongs, structural imbalances, injustices, bad governance, corruption, instability, deprivations, anguish and agitation of the Nigerian people. End them all! The world watched as the military shot at peaceful protesters in Lekki toll gate. 236 million naira has been lost at the toll gate since the protests. There were thugs causing havoc in Orile, Mushin, Oworo but no no no, they had to deploy military men to save their “money-making haven” at the detriment of Nigerian citizens whom they’re saddled with the responsibility of protecting. The government has chosen a side and we see it clearly. We’re never going to forget October 20, 2020.
Dear Nigerian youths, the real change is in your votes. Come 2023, let’s get our PVCs and hit the streets en masse. Let’s vote right so that we can witness the dream Nigeria we’re fighting for. Vote right so that our children would enjoy the fruits of this fight. Discard your political apathy. It’s time to wake up. The fight is not over!
Your mental health is very important. If you can no longer take all the gruesome stories of victims of police brutality, log out, tap out, block it all out, rejuvenate and get back to speaking against it. If you cannot physically protest, tweet, retweet, share and make your voices heard. The fight is not over!
Fight to finish, fight to win! #EndSars #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria
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