It’s Bigger Than Just #EndSARS

“Look at the valedictorian scared of the future/While I hop in the Delorean/ Scared-to-face-the-world complacent career student/Some people graduate, but we still stupid/They tell you read this, eat this, don’t look around/Just peep this, preach us, teach us, Jesus Okay, look up now, they done stole your streetness/After all of that, you receive this” – Kanye West (Good Morning)

While we talk about the various protests around the country calling for the government to #EndSARS and also #ReformPolice, let’s also talk about how this whole thing is bigger than just #EndSARS or #ReformPolice and the systemic oppression entrenched in our daily lives as Nigerians.

From politicians to everyday Nigerians (individuals and organizations) who have used the police and security outfits as tools of oppression and suppression over the years.

I lived, schooled and worked in Anambra for 6 years and 9 months (January 2012 – September 2018). And while I’ve heard crazy stories about SARS around Nigeria, there’s probably no unit worse than the SARS at Awkuzu, Anambra.

People went missing for months, only to turn up and tell you they got taken to SARS Awkuzu. That is if they even returned at all.

But let’s talk about all the Universities and Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria that have Anti-Cultism/Security units and how over the years instead of enforcing law and order they’ve become oppressors by themselves, for the university heads and for other Nigerians.

People would call the Anti-Cult/SARS on someone they had an argument with in a club or their apartment buildings. Just because they needed to prove a point.

Girl don use Anti-Cult carry her neighbour just because him provoke her.

Boy don use Anti-Cult threaten another guy wey wan collect him babe. Lmao

Abi na the ones wey actually use Anti-Cult collect people babe?

It was in UniZik where the VC used the Anti-Cult unit to hijack an SUG President for organising a peaceful protest.

I repeat, a PEACEFUL PROTEST!!!

Let’s talk about the lodges and apartment buildings where these guys are used as security plus caretakers.

I remember the guy in charge of the apartment building I lived in for 4 years, Obi na.

I remember the night we were having a lodge party and I was talking to some girl he was trying to score with.

This guy pulled a gun on me.

I just started running!!!!

I ran into a dark corridor. And then I just kept running till I got to my apartment.

What if he had pulled the trigger?

Wetin I for tell my Mama?

Sey she send me go school na toto come kill me?

I remember how Obaino would come to my apartment and collect N1,000 every time he heard music playing on that floor.

Weyrey go say the N1,000 na for loud music.

I remember the times Kcee would ask me, “Guy, wetin exactly you do Obaino? Why him no like you?”

Until the day he was the one playing it and Obaino came to do due diligence. Him sef pay N1,000.

Obinna broke into my apartment, and still went ahead to rent it out while I was away on IT. Mind you, my rent was still on.

Or should we talk about 50 who would watch girls through their windows while they took their baths?

Abi na Mopol wey extort boys use the money buy motor?

It felt like divine comedy the day that car was stolen.

Abi na the one wey slap Nonso because him too dey feel himself?

We sat in the same class with these Anti-Cult guys, shared apartment buildings with them, but still lived in fear of them.

Your fellow students? Omo!!!!

A statement has been released this afternoon dissolving the SARS unit, and absorbing them into other units of the Nigerian Police Force.

The same Police that you can’t report a case or make a statement without paying?

I remember when I got scammed N126,500 at my first place of work upon graduation. Reported to the police and they asked me to pay N120k for satellite tracking.

Lmao! Shebi if I get 120k, I for no just pay my employer immediately?

The policemen stationed at the office complex where I work now shoot sporadically in the air at least once a week.

Not because any robbery is going on. If you ask around they’ll tell you “Oga dey comot. They just wan troway one for air for am.”

Troway one for air because he’s going to gift them money for the acknowledgement.

So, what happens when a stray bullet hits someone?

Same stray bullet that killed a young girl while taking her bath in Ebonyi.

Same stray bullet that hit Jimoh Isiaq who wasn’t even protesting yesterday. He was just an onlooker.

But las las when e happen we go count am as village people.

While we all agitate for #ENDSARS, we shouldn’t sleep on #ReformPoliceNG, because at the end of the day y’all should remember: Na all of us spoil this country.

Uche Okoro

Writer. Sales & Marketing. Business & Investing Afficionado.

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