Saturday, October 17, 2020

On #EndSARS (Again)

I am overwhelmed by the reports of police brutality that have surfaced over the past week*. From the mid-90s (and likely before) to the past week, too many Nigerian lives have been cut short or had their trajectory altered significantly by policemen whose job it was to protect those people.

There have been reports of torture and extrajudicial killings. We have heard from relatives who have not seen their loved ones in years after they were arrested by the police. What is missing in all these reports is justice. A SARS officer notorious for extrajudicial killings in Awkuzu was appointed an adviser to a governor**. Another was promoted to become the head of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Many other trigger-happy policemen remain nameless and faceless, living their lives without paying for their crimes against humanity.

This is not right and things have to change. I am proud of the young people who risk their lives everyday to keep this issue on the first page of the agenda. While we cannot bring back the lives that have been lost, we can continue to demand justice for them and to apply pressure until the government takes meaningful action to address police brutality once and for all.

Aluta continua, victoria ascerta.

* These stories are frankly overwhelming and some of the pictures are very graphic. If you’d like to see them, search #EndSARS on Twitter or visit www.endsars.com.

** He has now been fired and the governor has promised he will be charged for his crimes, but he should never have been appointed an adviser in the first place as there have been allegations against him in the public domain for many years now.

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