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Opinion

My Mind Is Made Up

While I may attempt to disguise my pain and anguish with pun and sarcasm, I ask that you do not disregard this piece, or misinterpret the message.

It’s no news that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) protests…… Wait! I hope you are aware that the Inspector General of Police has replaced SARS with SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics).  Well, now you know. Originally, the word SWAT has origins from the United States of America, so their government should have shown up to the Nigerian government with a lawsuit for impersonation….. But news reaching my ears says President Trump is busy feeding his ego. As I was saying, the protests, which in spite of lacking “organizers” so to speak, has been very peaceful on the side of the citizens and has been very coordinated, but apparently SARS, now SWAT is hell-bent on unleashing Hades (smiles at cleverness) on the citizens regardless. 

Note that these protests are not bound by religion or tribe but by a common grievance: SWAT. ( It feels weird saying it loud, talk more of typing it. Sigh) 

These nationwide protests have recorded a minimum of 10 deaths, 50 arrests and some rather blatant accusations thrust upon arrested protesters by the so-called SARS. One such case was seen in the arrest and detention of a young man, Ademola Ojabodu, who was arrested by these notorious criminals and framed for the murder of some of the dead protesters, who were killed by them. Shocked? Don’t be. SARS is especially known for; battery, assault, rape, extortion and murder amongst other things. Ironically, this unit of the Nigerian Police Force was created to check the rise of vices like cultism and armed robbery as they were the rave of the day. They were supposed to protect Nigerians from the miscreants who perpetrated these acts. Well, that was a long time ago. 

The reality is that they became the miscreants themselves. At least, some armed robbers would spare your life. These ones kill at a whim. I heard a story of how a boy went to visit his friend whose hostel was raised by the evil men. (What business did they have in the hostel?) They took them to a police station, tortured them and then ended their day by killing this particular boy and dumping his body in a well. Dracula himself inducted these very ones into his Chambers, and evil metamorphosed into a living, breathing and walking nightmare; wearing the Nigerian Police Force uniform. Just yesterday, a man whose hands were in his pockets ate a bullet that was given to him by SARS. Unfortunately, the bullet sent him to the cold arms of death. How do you explain that to me or any other sane person? It makes no sense!

While we are still on the issue, Twitter is full of gut-wrenching stories of people who have lost family members to SARS and their wrongdoings. Protesters continually share pictures and videos of their fellows being arrested and taken away by them. It has gotten to the point where these men now disguise as protesters, then try to start a fight which, given the way things are going, would definitely lead to shootouts. (Note that all the protests have been peaceful on the side of the people, but….) 

I have a few grievances especially with some media houses, names withheld (no, names mentioned; TVC, CHANNELS, THE AUTHORITY) who have taken it upon themselves to misinform the public about the #ENDSARS protests. Obviously, they have forgotten the basic ethics of journalism which to me, is an unforgettable offence. Such agencies should not be in existence, because I have no other choice than to assume that they are under the government’s payroll. That, too, is a clear slap on the face for me as a journalist.

In the wake of all this, perhaps the most annoying thing is the presidency’s nerve to remain silent to the demands of the citizens, as well as the knack they have for thinking they can fool us. This leads me to no other choice but to jump to conclusions (I am a woman after all. It’s what we are known for) that:

  1. The menace SARS is one of the numerous ways the government feeds from. Dramatic sigh. Like they haven’t drained the country enough already.
  2. The government has lost control of SARS and; 
  3. The government is out for blood. ( Well, they gave always been have not them?)

I cannot speak for anyone else apart from myself, though I may echo their thought processes, I can say that I HAVE MADE UP MY MIND to continue with the protests, regardless of hashtags or captions. In Nigerian creole, werey dey disguise, but werey wey don suffer no dey hear word. I don’t have to lose a friend or loved one or wait to become a victim before joining my voice and giving my resources, no matter how little, to the Nigerian Youth. We. Move. 

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