For weeks, Nigerians nationwide have been calling for the end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a 20+ year old security group notorious for brutality. It is apparent that the terror is escalating, as eyewitnesses shared with CNN that multiple protestors in Lagos had been shot and killed on October 19. This comes just 11 days after the posting of a video showing a group thought to be comprised of SARS officers allegedly shooting and killing a man in the Southern Delta State.
As people, we have a responsibility to both raise awareness about what is happening in Nigeria and encourage others to do the same.
What is SARS?
In 1984, the controversial undercover unit was created to confront serious crimes in Nigeria, such as murder, robbery and kidnapping. Since the group’s inception though, SARS has been accused of a number of abusive practices that have gone unchecked.
According to Essence, the hashtag #EndSARS began to circulate widely on social media in 2017, when protests about the group’s brutality broke out. Users caught instances of the harassment on camera and uploaded them, showcasing the harmful, ongoing practices.
Ultimately, the allegations were brought to the larger police force, but were dismissed.
What can you do to help?
Spreading the word that about what SARS has done, and why people are protesting is, are two of the most effective measures we can take right now. Not everyone is aware of what exactly is happening, or the gravity of the situation, and it’s our duty to assure that our peers are up to date. Regardless of the size of your platform, you have a voice and it is critical that you use it.
We also are charged with sharing the most truthful, and current, information available.
Ending SARS is only possible if we all work together to support Nigeria.
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