#EndSARS is a decentralised social movement & series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The protest #EndSARS, which morphed from social media campaigns into street demonstrations in October 2020, was triggered by the excesses of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a now-disbanded police tactical unit notorious for cruelty against crime suspects.
Reasons for the protest.
Although SARS activities & general issues of police brutality, including unlawful arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killings, were at its core, the protest became a platform for demanding the government’s decisive action against insecurity, corruption, economic woes & general maladministration blamed for the suffering of the majority of Nigerians and lack of opportunities for the youth.
A government that abandoned its citizens in a way worst than the new WhatsApp Archive feature, totally sidelined like an unused substitute in a soccer match. Indeed the populace has its role to play in government & this protest cause is part of it.
Clamours from the Youth. #EndSars.
This administration left its citizens to play a “squid game”, a game where you live to survive in harsh conditions & little hope for success. There is immense suffering for the people with no hope for betterment. Highlights of the peoples sufferings are;
- Poor Hospitality for the sick, leaders travel out to get medical care
- Poor road network and road maintenance
- Suffering from its citizens during government projects without proper communication or compensation
- immense police brutality of younger men.
- Victimizing citizens as tagging all youths as fraudsters
- using the youths against each other
- Immense Insecurity in many parts of the nation
- Poor infrastructure for development in every aspect despite a great number of talents available.
- Weak currency as a result of poor economic decisions
- The rising national debt would be a deficit for the future to cater for.
These are just a few clamours the youths are trying to make. basic needs for citizens of any developing country. Tech boys moving to their station of work have been harrassed severally for carrying a laptop with police labelling them as fraudsters “yahoo boys”. Young men are being extorted every day for moving around freely. Cars are planted with illegal items to blackmail people randomly. These & more are the complaints of the masses. yet the people are being shot at for asking for basic freedom.
The protest isn’t led by any centralized leadership but with the voices being heard. Popular demand has it that a 5-point demand is being asked for by the people from the government.
The 5-point demand for the youth #EndSars.
Without a central leadership structure coordinating the protests in different parts of the country, the street demonstrations continued with the agitators widening their requests which came down to the five-point demand.
The demands included compensations for the families of those who died under police brutality, the release of arrested protesters and an increase in the salaries and allowances of police officers.
Protesters also demanded that an independent body be set up to investigate allegations of police misconduct and to prosecute those indicted. They also called for the psychological evaluation of officers of the disbanded SARS before they are redeployed into other units.
- End Sars.
- Compensation of victims of police brutality or their families.
- Release of arrested protesters.
- Increase of the salaries of police officers.
- Prosecution of bad eggs in the police department.
They have also asked for proper psychological evaluation of police officers and proper training for the future officers to avoid these sets of happening from reoccurring.
“It is the recklessness and irresponsibility of the Nigerian government that is bringing back the EndSARS street protest. The struggle must continue because the country belongs to us all.”
Nigeria is our country, we have to fight for it. There is always a price to pay for progress, a motion pushed for change, the handwriting of true citizenship, a timely measure for change.
Casualties from 2020 protest
I still can’t believe I am neither dead nor in the hospital. Every step I took yesterday walking away as men of @PoliceNG shot at me I braced myself for the moment of impact.
It seems President Buhari @MBuhari & @ProfOsinbajo gave IGP order to shoot at protesters. #EndSars
– Aisha Yesufu (@AishaYesufu) October 11, 2020.
At this point, Nigerians have seen 99 they’re not scared of the 100th. How many more lives will be lost to the carelessness of the government?
Just a few days ago, a staff of Arise news was also arrested by the same government we’re protesting against, But we will keep pushing them till they’re overpowered.
Poor hospital services, poor road networks in many places, yet our debt toll keeps rising, what are the monies being allocated to? Not to talk of the additional brutality which the police Mets out on the citizens, the youths especially, it’s working for the population. Necessary actions have to be taken. the Holy book asked us to honour our parents, but it also asked parents not to provoke their kids to anger. The government have forced the hands of the citizens.
The individual game is over, it is time to stand together & fight for a common cause!
Nigeria has been in a mess for decades, a rot that started from the fishes head. A foundational crisis. Like the Holy Bible said, “when the foundation is faulty, what can the righteous do”. Our children’s progress has been masked with darkness & blackness has turned a sour drink in the mouth of investors. Is being Nigerian a crime? Must we have to defend our integrity before getting gigs abroad? That is definitely not the Nigeria of our dreams. This is why we protest!
In case you want to know what it feels like in a protest such as this, think of a motion of madness in unison, with rumbling bellies, drums beating, heads pounding, songs rhyming, phones ringing with mothers feared out for the safety of their children. Youths of different ages brought out their time, resources, with their life on the line as well. In the midst of gunshots, harsh nudges, baton whips and tear gases. Were they afraid? yes! Do they not have families too? they all came from a home! Were they threatened by guns? yes, they were even shot at!!! Yet they stood their ground in the 2020 #EndSARS protest.
This generation is Sui Generis, unique in its mindset. This is the age of evolution, life comes in phases & another phase must pass without the youths being held spellbound with the past. A past filled with crimes committed by our ancestors, sins passed down from father to son, to 4 generations down. Some ‘caucus from the older generation keeps reflecting themselves by rigging for so many years. The youths have been sidelined, their futures eaten with the mouth of our supposed leaders.
They sat on the floor, arms in the air with the Nigerian flag in hand. They sang the National anthem as bullets were fired from the guns of the Nigerian Army. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
Finally, to the deceased, collateral damage to the ‘supposed peace”, the government was trying to maintain by shooting at peaceful protesters & to the lives lost to police brutality, our “War frontiers” holding the blockades & standing against a wicked authority. Your bodies may have been thrown to dust but your fight will never die. Gunshots were sent to the air, to cripple the aura of truth. But no, the truth is a body that cannot grow old, a sweet that tastes bitter at first, a reality that must come into play no matter the resistance.
Your deaths will not be in vain. it would be long days without you my friends, but we will keep pushing, with a drive that would never die. we will lift this movement till our kids pick up from where we left. We will not eat our flesh & drink our blood disguised as bribes. We will not sit & watch another generation jeopardized. We will “Soro Soke”. We will rise. All of us from LBDigital say “rest in peace. There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. #EndSars 2020. We will always remember.