The year is 2020, while the world is still recovering from a pandemic that shook the globe. A country in West Africa is on the verge of crisis because the people saddled with protecting her citizens harm them. Now, the citizens have come together to speak against this menace plaguing the youths in Nigeria – I present to you, SARS (Special anti-robbery squad).
A google search of the term SARS (Special anti-robbery squad) would bring up results like severe acute respiratory symptoms, viruses, and some things related to health and life. While the results might be wrong on the surface, I dare say that the SARS we speak about fit the bill, they are a virus eating through the system, causing havoc to the economy, endangering the health and life of people, and yes, they can stop you from breathing.
For context, This is what SARS (Special anti-robbery squad) is, and how they started.
They are a special unit of the Nigerian police force, saddled with fighting armed robbers as their name implies. The SARS (Special anti-robbery squad) was formed in 1992 by police commissioner Simeon Danladi Midenda. History has it that some Police officers killed a certain Col. Rindam at a checkpoint in Lagos, and the Army was not going to take that lightly. They went on a rampage on Police officers, and as such, most of them had to stop functioning and go into hiding. The absence of the police officers skyrocketed the rate of armed robbery in Lagos, and the need for a unit to tackle this problem gave birth to SARS (Special anti-robbery squad). According to Midenda who spoke to Vanguard, the mode of operation was simple
- stay faceless
- do not carry weapons in the open
- perform functions outside the corridors of the regular Police force to avoid being associated with them
- attend to Armed robbery cases only.
Today, we see a total deviation from the actual blueprint for this blessing that has turned into a curse. A curse for you, for me, for everyone in this country trying to live. You could have been a Kazeem Tiamiyu, a professional footballer in the Nigerian Premier League, thrown out of a moving vehicle by Sars or one of the very many young techies facing exploitation daily because they own a MacBook or an iPhone. You do not need to drive a Benz or have dreadlocks on, you look successful, and you are a target.
The Nigerian youths are tired, and they have had enough of this oppression; they have taken a stand against their oppressors, with a straightforward request,#ENDSARS.
Reported by Samuel Elensi Nigerian based correspondent.