#EndSARS — Nigerian Youths Matter
It was a morning that had all the necessary ingredients to birth a great day. The sky was blue and the sun rose gently above. I had an event to attend at Co-creation Hub, Yaba and I could not wait to get there. In no time, I was walking past Sabo Police Station, soon I will arrive at my destination.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, two men wearing black T-shirts and clack trousers approached me.
“Come with us, we need to talk to you”, they said.
“Come with you? To where? Who are you?”, I reeled out my barrage of questions.
“Follow us to our station, we are police officers.” They said flashing ID cards at me.
“You will have to do more than that. Anybody can design that thing you are holding”, I said pointing to their funny looking IDs.
“We need you to come with us, we want to talk to you”, they insisted.
“Why do I have to come with you? Why don’t we talk here? What do you want?”, my questions continued.
“Follow us to our station, we need to talk to you.” They were starting to grow impatient.
“Oga, this is Lagos and people get kidnapped here on a daily basis. I won’t follow you anywhere. Anything you want, we can discuss here. And if that won’t suffice I will like to be on my way.” I tried to make a sensible argument.
“We are police officers and we want you to come with us because you look suspicious.”
This dialogue was starting to go in circles, these people are wasting my time. This is starting to frustrate me.
“I look suspicious? How? I come here a lot, looking like this. And this is a pretty decent outfit that I have on, so what makes me suspicious? If I look suspicious then your parameters are broken and need to be fixed…” I went on and on until push turned to shove and I found myself inside their station.
“We need to search your bag,” they said as they opened and took out my laptop. You can guess what their next question was; “where is the receipt of the laptop.”.
“People don’t walk around with their laptop receipts, I replied. He dipped his hand into my bag and pulled out a pair of stethoscopes.” Then he asked, what do you do?
“I am a doctor”, I replied. “So why do you have a laptop?” Befuddled, I replied, “doctors can’t have laptops?
“Officer is this how you harass young people that come around here with laptops? You know Cc-hub is just a few buildings away and plenty of young people come around here, so you harass every single one of them. Telling them they look suspicious? Don’t you think that is rather…”
“Ehhss! You dey inside here, you still dey run your mouth, we go do you something now you go know.” Better carry your bag waka comot.
The madness draws to a close, livid, I packed my belongings and I made my way out of the station to my destination.
I have heard tales of misconduct by Police officers, and I have just had my fair share. We thought we had seen it all until SARS took to the streets unleashing brutality on young people.
These new breed of criminals, emboldened by the law and armed with Kalashnikovs which by some testimonies are pretty loaded terrorize the people they are supposed to protect.
It is frustrating to have a person waste your time for no good reason. And its horrific to watch things go from zero to hundred in no time when they say things like, I will shoot you and nothing will happen. And when they make these threats real, hearts break.
It is sad that we have a Police Assistant Commissioner who decides to make jokes of a critical situation.
The Nigerian youth has suffered some of the most miserable tales of woe from the North to the South of Africa; one would wonder why does the Nigerian youth subject himself to such maltreatment; the answer lies in the condition of his home country.
Take a minute to sign the petition, one way or another we must bring police brutality to an end.