Source (Instagram): alextropcool
Insecurity, corruption and instability are constantly present in a large area in the world, unfortunately, Africa is not exempt. This matter generally results from dissociation of the government and its citizens. The young generation especially wants changes and better days for their countries. There are a lot of work opportunities that are present and can be exploited in Africa.
As a result of violence and instability toward Nigerian citizens, the public services, namely the police force, had created a unit called SARS to protect the citizens from robbery. SARS stands for Special Anti-Robbery-Squad. To contextualize, SARS was created to protect Nigerian citizens from armed robbers, however, they misused their power and started harassing, extorting, attacking and killing Nigerians. As a result, Nigerian citizens used their right to protest and denounce the injustice they were facing, resulting in young Nigerian taking the road of Lagos to protest against that injustice and asked the Government to close the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. The peaceful protest turned into a bleeding protestation. The Lagos State Government has accused the protestors of violence. Furthermore, the indignation of Nigerian citizens started years back but it began to take a bigger scale lately. In one of the NYTimes articles, a young Nigerian has been arrested because of the Mercedes car he was driving. He, later on, was forced to withdraw some money if he wanted to stay alive. To add up, it has been reported that SARS officers were arresting young men because of their looks (hairstyle and tattoos), wealth (possession of luxury items) and so on.
Furthermore, Amnesty reported that security agents started opening fire without warning the protestors at the Lekki toll Plaza. Additionally, the County Director of Amnesty International Nigeria expressed his concern and added that opening fire on peaceful protesters is a blatant violation of people’s rights to life dignity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Moreover, Amnesty reported that several CCTV securities were removed at the Lekki toll Gates by the government before police agents opened fire on the protestors. On a positive note, however, posts and videos are shared on social media to inform the world about the current event taking place in Nigeria.
What has the current President, Muhammadu Buhari, achieved since then? The president wrote a tweet and gave a speech regarding the dissolution of SARS a few times in the past. Furthermore, it came to our attention after interviewing a current Nigerian Lady from Hult, Dola, that Nigerians work in two different social classes. In other words, there is a wage gap between the rich and the poor. For example, if you are not rich you are poor, and if you are not poor, you are rich. In addition, police forces have been used by rich people to oppress the poor class. Besides, the police force is paid below a minimum rage. In consequence, they are using their power to harass and rob the citizens, only first-class citizens are exempt. These behaviours create tiredness toward the citizens. Lastly, the protests were peaceful, however, in order to discredit the aim of the protest, thugs are used and sent to infiltrate the protests.
What can we do as individuals? There is a petition to sign, donation link to contribute and we can use our voices for a change with hashtags #EndSARS, #ENDSARSNOW.
Lastly, our thoughts are also with the Republic of Congo where millions of people are killed for “Coltan”, a natural resource that is needed for electronic devices. In addition, we think about the Ivory Coast and Ghana, where child labour and trafficking has increased. Besides, children and women are being raped and violated in Liberia. Furthermore, Cameroon is facing an enormous humanitarian crisis. Moreover, there is an increase in violence against young and adult women in South Africa. And Namibia, where protests are sourced against sexual and gender-based violence. Furthermore, protests for the resignation of Alpha Condé are taking place in Guinea…
We live in troubling times. Many of these crises and issues are disregarded due to the pandemic. Let us not forget about them, but take action. Talk about it, post about it, and donate. Let’s make this world a better place together.