Content Note: I wrote this as someone who identifies as a Nigerian-American. I wanted to share the parallels between those two parts of my identities. The blog explores police brutality occurring in Nigeria with specific focus on the events that occurred on October 20, 2020. The following may be triggering for some, as it contains descriptions and images of violencePhoto Credit: This is a viral image of the protests, found on social media. The original source is unknown.
What is SARS?
I was going to write a different kind of blog, one that told anyone who had not heard about the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) or the protests going on in Nigeria, what it was. In fact, I had written a full page already, but something told me it was inadequate.
As a staff member of the Women’s Center, I wanted to write about how women have led and organized peaceful protests around the country, how they organized food, legal aid and medical care for people who had been shot at, arrested or needed sustenance during protests. I had wanted to write about how Nigerians managed to raise 4 million naira in two days to get a prosthetic for a disabled woman who had walked with everyone to protest. I wanted to explore how that had started a conversation on how the Nigerian government had failed its disabled population, but the new generation of Nigerians were not going to do the same. I wanted to tell you how Muslims and Christians had hugged and walked together for a common cause.
I wanted to tell you how inspired I was by my peers, by my people, and I still am, but today I am angry. I am hurt. I am tired. So, If you have not heard about the movement to end (SARS), here is an Instagram post that gives a run-down on how and why the protests started:
View this post on Instagram
get out your head for 5 minutes and pay attention to what’s going on OUTSIDE YOUR OWN COUNTRY! young people are being murdered in Nigeria FOR NO REASON. it’s not about if it effects you or not ITS ABOUT HUMAN LIFE! wake up. Nigeria is HOME. The future of Nigeria are being murdered in front of our eyes! You should be angry. #ENDSARS