The fight against police brutality, a core principle of the Black Lives Matter movement, is not just an American concern. It is part of an important struggle against despotic government worldwide.
In Nigeria, the Special Anti Robbery Squad, or SARS, is a special branch of the police force that has caused pain and suffering among the Nigerian people with extreme acts of police brutality that are unjust and combative to basic human rights.
Last week alone, SARS killed 12 peaceful protestors and the government acknowledged their use of excessive force but still has done nothing to stop it.
SARS officers are not decorated with official badges and do not dress in the uniforms, but are given the weapons and privileges of a decorated officer.
The people of Nigeria started protesting to end SARS in Lagos, Nigeria in early October because they have committed acts such as extortion, harassment, kidnapping, rape, bribery, and the killing of Nigerian people.
Despite there being public records showcasing the number of unspeakable acts committed by SARS, the Nigerian government has done nothing to alleviate their people’s pain.
Youths have flooded the streets protesting and blocking major roads across a number of cities, to which SARS responded with more violence. The SARS is killing more people every day for fighting for their rights. This branch made to protect the people from petty crimes has only worsened conditions in Nigeria and made it so no one is safe in their own home.
The events going on in Nigeria are not getting as much media coverage in the rest of the world because the government is actively censoring what is being posted, and blocking access to social media platforms. Citizens have started using VPNs to post footage of what is going on in their country to raise awareness and seek help from each other in this time of crisis, and to spread their message outside of Nigeria.
Ending SARS would mean the restoration of peace, safety, and freedom for Nigerian citizens.