I had decided to take a break from blogging till next week because of stuff that’s happened in my family. And I planned on just taking the little time to focus on myself, my family and my mental health. But recent happenings in my country has forced me to write this.
This is a very long post and you might find this to be none of your concern or boring but please I beg you, read to the end.
I am not writing just because I want to or because I feel like writing. I am writing from a place of anger, heart break and disappointment.
If you’ve been following international news for the past few days, you may have heard the phrase or hashtag EndSars. My country Nigeria is in shambles and my fellow country youths are fighting for their lives.
Before I go further, I would like to tell you what SARS is. SARS is a security outfit that was established for the purpose of fighting against armed robbery and kidnapping. The full meaning of SARS is Special Anti-Robbery Squad. However, for a long time now this “squad” has gone outside of their stipulated functions and are now a nightmare in this country. They have been killing innocent young boys in the country under the guise of “they are criminals”. SARS sees a young boy and immediately profiles him to be a yahoo boy. A yahoo boy is someone who is into fraudulent activities and electronic and cyber crime. There are a lot of them. They trick people and scam them of their money.
But in the past few months, there has been the incessant killing of young men across the country. SARS has turned out to be a body of corrupt trigger happy officials who go around killing innocent boys who don’t have the money to bribe their way to freedom. They see a young man walking on the road, they stop him and start harassing him to extort money from him. Once he refuses or resists, they immediately take him away in their van or just shoot him on the spot.
And not just boys walking, they stop guys driving in their cars and they have been so emboldened recently to start barging into people’s homes to harrass them.
Because of the menace of yahoo boys, they seized that as an opportunity to abuse their power and resources. Yahoo boys live extravagant lifestyles so once they see any guy that remotely looks like he’s doing well, they automatically pin fraud on him. A lot of times they even plant drugs on innocent boys just so they can extort a huge amount of money from him.
First of all, fighting and apprehending cyber criminals is not their job. That is the job of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other bodies set up for the purpose. The job of SARS is to fight armed robbers and kidnappers. But they have now neglected their original duty and are now doing another body’s duty in the most gruesome and disgusting way.
Secondly, even if a boy is allegedly a yahoo boy, does he deserve to die? No trial, no sentence, just death straight without proper investigation and proof? Every suspect is innocent until proven guilty. And every criminal has the right to life until sentenced to death.
SARS have now take the law into their hands and are wasting the lives of young men in the country. Everyday we hear news of another guy that was killed by SARS. Because he was suspected to be a yahoo boy or a fraudster. Innocent boys who were just going about living their lives have died at the hands of SARS.
Sometimes, they’ll just accost you and pin fraud on you. Then they’ll tell you to pay them so you can go. If you don’t pay them they take you away and nobody will know. So many guys have gone in that manner with their families having absolutely no idea where they are. Their prices range from fifty thousand Naira and can go up to a million Naira. Young men who don’t have that kind of money to pay end up going to prison, while some are unfortunate to lose their lives.
SARS has a certain profile and if you meet that profile appearance wise you’re a goner.
If you dress really well and flashy, if you drive a good car like a Benz or a G-Wagon, if you use an iPhone and airpods, if you wear chains, if you keep dreads or your hair is long as a guy, if you have tattoos on your body. Also, they call you a fraudster once you’re into trading and Cryptocurrency and have certain apps on your phone like Meta trader 4 & 5, Olymp trade, IQ Option, if you have bitcoin, and trading apps and if you have expensive gadgets.
Basically in my country it is now a crime to dress and look good, to buy nice things for yourself, and to be a trader on the stock market. It is a crime to be on dreads, to have tattoos and to have certain gadgets. They instantly label you a thief and a fraudster. That you acquired those things through dubious and nefarious means which is very heartbreaking.
SARS has now left their duty which is to catch armed robbers and kidnappers and are now chasing after you) men while armed robbers are having a field day. Call SARS for a case of armed robbery and they’ll take hours to show up, but call them for a suspected yahoo boy and they’ll show up in seconds.
And you know what’s more heartbreaking, the government is not doing anything about the situation. They don’t care. They don’t listen to the cries of their citizens, the same people who voted them into power. Our young men are dying everyday on the streets for nothing. Mothers are losing their sons, fathers are crying on national television for justice yet the government doesn’t care about it’s people at all.
Boys are afraid to go out because of the fear of SARS. They are very wicked and scary. Everyone is scared because they don’t know when it will be their turn.
I know exactly how wicked SARS can be because my family has had encounters with them. They arrested my mom few years ago when she was pregnant with my little sister. A pregnant woman. They arrested my dad once when he didn’t do anything. If not for contacts and friends in high places they could have messed him up. And the most recent one, they barged into my moms salon armed and picked up my male cousin who is living with us who is just 18 years old and took him away without saying anything. My family had to act quick because we all know how SARS operates. The next thing they’d have done is pin fraud or armed robbery on him. So I know exactly how these people can be.
Which is why we are pleading with our government to End SARS. We don’t need them because they aren’t even doing their original job. Yet the government is turning a blind eye to this issue. The country is no longer safe. The youths decided to come out in unity to peacefully protest against the SARS menace but the police isn’t making this easy either. Yesterday they teargased and shot at peaceful protesters in the country’s capital, and also a boy who was not even part of the protest (he was standing at a safe distance watching) died from a stray bullet when they police started shooting at the protesters.
Why am I writing this? It is because we cannot do this on our own. We have had enough. Everyday I’m scared for my brothers, cousins, my boyfriend and my friends. Everyday I have to pray they don’t meet SARS on their way out. It is time we all come together to put a stop to this. Every life is precious and we cannot continue to stand by while innocent lives keep being taken by these animals.
We need all the help we can get and I am pleading with each and everyone of you to help us. It doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter if you are a Nigerian or not. We are all humans and we all need to help each other when the need arises. I need you all to help us trend the #EndSars as much as you can all over the world so everyone knows how our youths are dying on a daily basis, until the government of Nigeria hears us and does something about this killing going on. Until they hear our demands and ends SARS. Please no matter where you are help us spread awareness of what is going on. We need all the help we can get. Our youths are protesting but it isn’t enough. They are trying to silence us but it will not work. We will keep pushing and fighting until our lives are safe. Until the government hears the cries of the people who voted them into office. We need the world on our side. This is a plea to all my friends, readers and followers.
These are people’s children dying on the streets everyday and we are all scared. SARS is now a terrorist organization that goes around terrorising people. And it’s is not just SARS. The police in general in Nigeria have failed us. They are trigger happy corrupt and wicked. They don’t care about protecting lives and properties. All they want is to extort the innocent citizens. We need the world on our side. Please help us in the little way you can by just using the hash tag #EndSars #EndSarsProtests #EndSarsNow #StopPoliceBrutality #EndPoliceBritalityInNigeria #EndKillings on your social media. On twitter, facebook, instagram etc.
Please let me know if you need more information on the matter. You can email me or contact me on social media. Also please search the hash tag #endSars on Google and twitter to know more on this heartbreaking issue. Thank you so much for reading and also that you so much for your help. I am sure you all will come together and help us stop this menace thank you all so much.