Nigeria government calls SARS protest a National…..
As people all over the world stand in support of the peaceful protests against SARS, the president of Nigeria, Muhamadu Buhari is calling for an urgent meeting to discuss what has been labeled, the country’s “Insecurity”. What an irony.
In my estimation, the protesters have never felt more secure in their own country without SARS and the police checkpoints. While the idea of SARS may have had a purpose, the implementation of the program was a failure that has to lead to the killing of way too many innocent Nigerians. Way too many innocent people have been killed, beaten, imprisoned by officers who take the law into their hand, and without impunity.
The citizens of Nigeria have been terrorized by these and similar police agencies for decades. Clearly, the Nigerian government does not understand the ordeal faced by the Nigerian masses. How can the people expect a SARS or SWAT or ??? solution from a government that appears tone-deaf to the plight of its citizens? The disconnect between what the country needs at this moment and the steps being taken by the government are miles apart.
There are reasons for this. For one, the elite government officials are living in a bubble and out of the mainstream. They are mostly unaffected by SARS or other security apparatus in the country. Wealthy Nigerians, politicians, government officials rent the services of the National police as personal bodyguards. They parade Nigerian streets with sirens in front of and behind their vehicles, as they move around to conduct official and sometimes casual affairs.
The Nigerian masses have to endure the loud sirens and harassment by these hired guns who are paid peanuts to clear traffic for them. And more importantly, protect them from the harassment of police check-points and SARS operatives. As a result, they cannot relate because neither they nor their family is subjected to the same kinds of abuses, extortion, and murders experienced by the majority of Nigerians. This practice of hired guns has to stop.
Mr. President, the Nigerian youths are NOT the cause of Nigeria’s insecurity. The country’s failure in providing basic education, infrastructure, job opportunities, high wages, trained well-paid police officers, good governance, etc. are the causes of the country’s woos. These deficiencies are what has lead to the reaction by our courageous youths, taking to the streets in protest under extreme conditions. With a simple demand that should be accorded to all human beings. The right to live. The right of their children to live. The right to equal opportunities so they can live in dignity.
The question now is, what are you going to do about it? This is a pivotal moment. Please consult if you have to, but I beg that you make the right decision, or gracefully accept that this moment is bigger than your presidency and resign.