Why we’re fighting to #EndSARS

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We know that the Nigerian police is a threat to our safety and, as long as they remain on the streets — with a license to carry out random searches and no accountability — we will never be truly safe.

Since the 8th of October, Nigerians across the country have been hitting the streets daily to peacefully protest police brutality and to especially demand the end of the SARS arm of the police. To emphasize: we are demanding an END, not a reform, not a re-education of the officers, but a total shut down and removal of SARS officers.

The government claim to have attempted a reform: Every year since 2016 until as recently as January 2020, the Nigerian government has announced some version of a SARS reform that would ensure the safety of Nigerians. But they’re still here terrorizing and killing Nigerian youths.

They target non-traditional work and people who dare to attempt self-expression. Many people on our team at gomoney are victims and most Nigerians in our generation have a horror story to tell. We have, in some capacity, experienced the anxiety many Nigerian youths feel when they see a police officer. Either by hiding all our bank apps, dressing differently or taking entirely different routes to avoid harassment. Other times, it’s people like 16-year-old Tina Ezekwe who are fatally shot by a trigger-happy police officer seeking a bribe from another unarmed civilian.

All that is over. We are collectively raising our voices to march, to sing and to hashtag until we are heard. All we are asking for is our basic human right to live freely in our country. For SARS and the Nigerian police to stop killing us. We will not relent. We will keep fighting. We will be heard.

If you’re joining the protests physically, please remember to take all or some of the following with you:

Women, being a whistle with you if you have any. Unfortunately, men are out there harassing women at protests. A (rape) whistle will help.

Arrests of peaceful protesters have increased around the country. This lawyer has a few tips on how you can manage a situation where you get arrested and don’t have or cannot get to your lawyer:

If you’re not at the protests, your voice is just as important and can be just as loud.

Every day, Nigerian youth’s lives are at risk. But we have collectively taken a stand. It ends now.

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