The year 2020 has been a year like no other in our lifetime. Nigerians had very high dreams and expectation for the new year beginning a decade.
Many saw the year as a stepping stone to achieving and becoming all what they would become in the decade to follow not knowing that Coronavirus will stand on the way. As we are struggling to get of the pandemic then, the #EndSARS Protest.
The #EndSARS protests across Nigeria have led to the notorious Police group’s dissolution. For me it is a revolution that is yet to come. Oh yes! The Special Anti-Robbery Squad coded SARS was a terror
”I will kill you and nothing will happen’ was the popular taunt by SARS and Police Operatives. I shivered anytime I hear it. It puts a deep fear in me, because I know it is true. And among the Nigerian police, a ‘special’ group called the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) consistently won the award for Most Notorious.
SARS are known primarily for illegal stop and searches that violate Nigerians’ fundamental rights. SARS officers like to target young Nigerians, especially those with alternative hairstyles or dress sense.
According to their reasoning, any young Nigerian who drives an expensive looking car or owns gadgets such as an iPhone is a Nigerian Prince or a Yahoo boy, as we say.
EndSARS has now gone beyond the Acronyms. It is now a campaign against rising unemployment, increasing insecurity and rising inflation. Public universities have also been closed as the union of its academic staff have been on strike since March 2020, leaving many students in limbo. Our political leaders are practically doing nothing to salvage the ugly situation.
But Thank God, that we are beginning to find our voices for the first time and assertively taking a stand against police brutality and other social ills.
Spread throughout Nigeria and on social media from 8 October 2020, the #EndSARS protests reached all six geo-political regions, as well as in countries with large diaspora populations like the UK, US, Canada and Germany.
It is a revolution, waiting to happen.
Many believe this reawaking is a movement not just to end police brutality in all it forms in our security and defense systems but the reawaking of putting an end to bribery, corruption, solicitation for sex for grades, movement of good governance, illegal arrest and extortion.
Nigerians feared the protests could lead to an undemocratic change of government. The south was united in the protests while the north was divided, with a majority going against it because they saw it as a southern conspiracy against the President.
The good thing about the initial protests is that it made our leaders sit up properly and remain more focus. It is time for change in our country, sincerity in governance, the fulfillment of agreements and justice to all irrespective of status.
Omolola Isabella Patrick, a Journalist, writes from Abuja.