#EndSARS Campaign: Everything You Need To Know

#EndSARS Campaign: Everything You Need To Know

#EndSARS Campaign: Everything You Need To Know

Written by Di MadWriter

#EndSARS has been trending at number 1 worldwide for a few days now. It has literally taken over Twitter, Facebook, and has gotten a lot of people talking on Instagram as well. You’d wonder what would lead to millions of people to scream out in this manner, and for this long.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is a unit of the Nigerian Police Force. This unit was formed to combat crimes like robbery and kidnapping. I’d also like to mention that this unit consists of mostly ex-convicts. The idea was to have them protect the masses form robbers and kidnappers. A brilliant idea, but it ended up backfiring.

SARS went from being our protection to being the thing that we need protection from. Almost EVERY Nigerian has a story of an encounter with SARS, and trust me, they’re not good stories.

In an open letter to the president of Nigeria on the 9th of October, 2020, popular actor Genevieve Nnaji recounts how her niece was harassed by SARS just for having a laptop. She was 13, and she was slapped across the face for asking why her laptop was being seized without cause.

In the heat of the protest, another lady told of how they were attacked outside an exam registration center. These were fresh high school leavers applying to higher institutions. They were right outside the registration office when SARS came at them, hitting a boy with their van in the process. The others were shot with teargasses even as they ran in fear. They ended up catching about 40 of them and set a huge amount as bail for each of them.

These are just two out of hundreds of thousands of stories. Virtually, what they do is nab whoever they come across, slap them with unreasonable charges, beat them up, and collect every dime they have. Whoever tries to resist or exercise his/her right would get a bullet. They always brag. ‘Na we be SARS. We go kill you and nothing go happen.’

The #EndSARS campaign did not start yesterday. It has been there for at least three years now. The government has announced the reformation or dissolving of the SARS unit more than thrice in the last two years, but out on the streets, nothing changed.

The accumulation of anger and frustration has led to this outburst by Nigerians. This stands as the biggest campaign the country has launched in a very long time. The Inspector-General of Police put out a statement that SARS was being suspended with immediate effect. President of Nigeria also made a tweet on the 9th of October asking Nigerians to trust that he was doing something about the situation. He further mentioned that he was taking steps to reform SARS.

Though most Nigerians weren’t having it, others thought the idea was a good one. They felt there was no need for that many people to lose their jobs and be thrown back into the streets to cause more harm. They also felt that SARS could be put to good use, to serve the very purpose for which it was created.

The majority of Nigerians are totally against this move, and with good reasons. The SARS unit has been reformed more than twice in the last 3 years, and the problem keeps getting worse. Since reformation doesn’t seem to be working, ending SARS is the only way to end the problem. And why should we be worried about what they’d do if they lost their jobs? They are robbing and killing us already. And we can’t report them because they are the police. It couldn’t get any worse.

Also note that while all this was going on, and SARS was allegedly suspended, SARS operatives were still out on the streets doing the very thing that led to the outburst– harassing innocent people.

On how the #EndSARS protest has come so far…

Over 15 out of the 36 states in Nigeria had people actively protesting at the same time.

On the 10th of October, a young man by the name of Jimoh Isiaq was said to have been shot dead by the police during the protest in Ogbomosho. The police claim no shots were fired at the protesters. But videos of the boy lying dead with gunshot wounds are there to collaborate the testimonies of the witnesses. He has been buried and his family is grieving.

As of Sunday, the 11th of October, Nigerians in Canada, Toronto, Ghana, New York City, and some other countries had joined the protest.

The president of Nigeria lost over 100 thousand followers on twitter in less than 24 hours.

Most of the Nigerian media houses have underperformed in covering the story of this protest so far. We’ve had more honesty and proper coverage with the foreign news channels.

Nigerian celebrities took to the streets to protest, provided protesters with food and provisions, and spoke out against this injustice. A good number of public figures all across the world have also given their voices and support to Nigerians. This includes Cardi B, Trey Songz, Diddy, and a host of others.

The Nigerian government remained mute through most of it. However, they finally put out news on the 11th that SARS was being disbanded immediately.

Even after the news was put out, protesters were still being harassed and shot at. It seems we’ve not seen the end of this.

“The fight is against youth profiling, police brutality, and harassment. And until all that is achieved and we feel safe again, there’s no backing down.”–Nigerians.

Previous post: What Are Your Options?

Related post: The Black Tale

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#EndSARS (Photo credit: Twitter, Graphics: Viano Dee)
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#EndSARS! (Photo Credit: Twitter, Graphics: Viano Dee)
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#endsars

Di MadWriter

Di MadWriter is a Nigerian storyteller and poet who fully exercises his right to laugh whenever and wherever he wants. He thinks madness is a spectrum; it is not absolute. Every new day, he chooses whether to be rigid or informal. He loves to see people laugh, or smile at least.

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Amara Uche
8 months ago

This is such an important issue going on now. Thank you for shedding light on it

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Amara Uche
8 months ago

It is my pleasure, Amara. And thank you for taking the time.

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Admin
8 months ago

Oh no! Didn’t know about this serious issue. Hoping the harassment and brutality ends soon.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Viano Dee
8 months ago

We pray it does. Thank you for reading.

Di Hickman
8 months ago

It’s crazy how the very thing that is supposed to protect us, ends up being the source of our mistrust and oppression. This is happening in so many parts of the World. Time for change!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Di Hickman
8 months ago

It really is time for a change. We need to make the world better for generations to come. Thank you.

Yomi Spontaneous
8 months ago

Thank you for shedding light on such an important topic!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Yomi Spontaneous
8 months ago

It is my pleasure, Hallie. And thank you for reading.

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Admin
8 months ago

Ah…SARS! Naijans on twitter have been amplifying for a week now and it’s being carried by international news. We’re also giving it to the social media handlers of the useless politicians. PMB was never in control. You people entered one chance the minute you voted him and his crew in. I hope those of you who did can see now…

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Viano Dee
8 months ago

Everything has gone downhill since this administration assumed power. It is pathetic. Thank you for reading.

Britt K
8 months ago

Thank you for sharing all of this. I will be honest – While I like to think that I am well informed about what is going on around the world, there are always situations that I could learn more about and this is one of them! While I had a very basic understanding of SARS, I had no idea that it was as bad as it is. It is so important to shed a light on topics like this.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Britt K
8 months ago

I’m glad you found it expository, Britt. It’s my pleasure.

Melanie williams
8 months ago

Wow I like to think that I am in the know so to speak, but I never knew that all this was going on! Thank you for the insight x

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Melanie williams
8 months ago

You’re very welcome, Melanie.

Christy
8 months ago

I did not know that these things are happening in that part of the world. Although, I am starting to see some abusive police officials in my country as well. There’s always the good cop, bad cop. It all boils down to the type of person that was placed in the authority.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Christy
8 months ago

That is true, Christy. Police brutality has come to become a global issue. I hope it gets better for us and everyone else.

Karletta Marie
8 months ago

I wasn’t aware. That’s why sharing like you are is so important. As more voices rise up, I am hoping for a better world. A world where every personal has a voice, and every person’s life is of value.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Karletta Marie
8 months ago

How much we’d love a world like this. I hope I live to see it. Thank you, Karletta.

Windy
8 months ago

Thank you for sharing what’s going on in Nigeria. #EndSars!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Windy
8 months ago

It is my pleasure, Windy.

#EndSARS!

Sonia Seivwright
8 months ago

Hi Fellow Nigerian, This is really shocking and scary for our Country. I love the fact that the whole world is aware and involved in the situation. #EndSARS!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Sonia Seivwright
8 months ago

We will remember this one. And hopefully, it will be a good memory.

Digitaldaybook
8 months ago

This is extremely important. Thank you for talking about it!!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Digitaldaybook
8 months ago

You’re very welcome.

JENRON DESIGNS
8 months ago

I have to admit when I read SARS I was thinking about the respiratory virus not what is discussed in this post, which says alot about how little is known about this issue.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  JENRON DESIGNS
8 months ago

It does say how little.

Good thing more people get to learn about it every day.

Clarice
8 months ago

This is really sad. I had no idea that this happening but I really hope that the government and the police force can fix this. Will follow the developments on this. Thank you for sharing. 

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Clarice
8 months ago

We hope so too. Fingers crossed.

Thank you for reading, Clarice.

Natasha Mairs
8 months ago

I never really knew anything about this or what SARS was. This post as really opening my eyes and hope things get better soon

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Natasha Mairs
8 months ago

Thank you for taking the time. And yes, we pray it does get better.

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Admin
8 months ago

Wow, admittedly I had no idea what SARS was. I thought this was going to be an article about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. That is terrible what is happening in Nigeria and I do hope they put an end to it for the sake of all those innocent who have suffered and continue to suffer at their hand.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Viano Dee
8 months ago

Thanks for the care, Cecilia. We hope and pray it ends now.

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