Frantic would be the word best used to describe the ceaseless agitations in Nigeria by citizens who clamour for genuine and unfeigned order that will put an end for good the cannibalistic showing from men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit as well as complete restructuring of the entire Force and justice for past victims of police brutality.
Where did it go wrong you would ask? Nigeria before and after it gained independence has since been a country overwhelmed with all kinds of violence, uncertainty and controversies that boils around its leadership; citizens and its most emphasized security outfit, hence the Police.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) founded in 1992 by former Police Commissioner Simeon Danladi Midenda, under the Criminal and Investigative Department has since deviated from actual existential purpose of executing top secret assignments to exact opposite of what it was created for, as it now willingly intimidate, arrests, kill, dehumanize and torture same individuals its supposed to protect. SARS operatives are the main bone of contention concerning the latest protests by the Youths, who now wants not only the unit, but the entirety of the police Force overhauled or better still restructured.
The outcry from Nigerians in various parts of the country over the reiterative violence showcased by SARS and other iniquitous officers from the police Force has over the past weeks gained tremendous and overwhelming support from foreigners as Politicians, footballers and musicians based overseas have all queued into the most trending topic at the moment. Talk about trending, #EndSARS garnered over 30 million tweets in just two days and in the process, surpassed #BlackLivesMatter movement to become topic with most recorded tweets at the moment.
To that effect, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Liang acknowledged the people’s wish to see the unit disbanded as she charged President Buhari to be more accountable to the people.
International Footballers and Musicians were not left from the mix as Arsenal’s football club midfielder, Mesut Ozil alongside Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford both lent their voices against police brutality in Nigeria.
Reacting, German midfield maestro, Mesut Ozil via his twitter handle said, “Horrible to hear what’s going on in Nigeria. Let’s make it a trending topic everywhere”.
England’s star forward, Marcus Rashford twitted “My thoughts and prayers are with those affected. #EndSARS”
Similarly, Chelsea’s player, Tammy Abraham tweeted, “Dear Nigeria #EndSARS.”
Relatedly, Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger via his handle said “Police brutality in Nigeria needs attention.”
International Model, Naomi Campbell via her Instagram page, commended the youths for their overall contributions in demand of an end to the security unit, then called on President to do better in addressing their plights.
In similar fashion, American singer, Trey Songz and international rapper, Big Sean also joined collective voice calling for scrapping of SARS operation in Nigeria.
Trey Songz took to his twitter handle to express his dissatisfaction on incidence unfolding in Nigeria.
According to the singer, “After doing a little research, I would like to speak out on happening in Nigerian now. Their pleas to #EndSARS is real.”
While American Rapper Big Sean called for an end to Police brutality by SARS operatives.
On Saturday morning, British-Nigerian actor, John Boyega, lent his voice to the ongoing protests via his social media handle.
The actor, who is known for his strong stance against human right abuses and racism, requested for good leadership and guidance for Nigerian youths.
“The youth in Nigeria deserve good leadership and guidance. Please lend your attention to this pressing problem,” he said.
Elsewhere, African-American musician, Kanye West on Monday, expressed support to the protesters.
Kanye via his twitter handle, said he fully supports the cry to bring to end killings, intimidation suffered from the police, adding that Nigerian Government must heed the complaints and immediately redress the whole situation.
It is no gain saying that the apple doesn’t wander far off the tree; affected Nigerians at this moment are not just demanding an overhaul of SARS, but reformation or possible resignation from top officials that refer to themselves as Government, as they believe the present administration worsened the anomalies and unpardonable atrocities that have so far been committed by the unit.
Since Friday, the #EndSARS hashtag became trending not only in Nigeria, but in the UK, Canada, and the United States. The hashtag remained on Twitter’s Nigeria top 10 trend table since the weekend. The unrest drew also the attention of the United Kingdom (UK) as they urged the government to create more accountability within the Police.
Although, International aides, especially Politicians and other influential organizations like the United Nation (UN); United Nations Security Council (UNSC); Human Rights Watch; Civil Rights Defender amongst others are yet to say or act concerning the incidence unfolding in Nigeria at the moment.
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