Nigeria a nation of huge contradiction, a country that celebrates its aspirations to greatness — economic success, food security, accountable governance, territorial integrity, internal security, and improved living standards.
Killing off, its brilliant teeming young population, instead of building that aspect of its population, the Nigerian military and government officials arranged to kill them off.
The reason is that some or most older set of the government and their cronies would not tolerate the bare truth. That is the Nigerian police special unit; now-disbanded SARS (State Anti-Robbery Squad) has been harassing and killing innocent Nigerians mostly young men.
The killings start with harassing people across various, locking them up without charge and forcing the victims to bail themselves or call loved ones to bail them. It’s a practice that had been ongoing for over four years. Despite hue and cries of victims that were lucky to survive the ordeal in the hands of SARS.
The cries went on deft ears, there are instances in Nigeria when an erring officer either police or otherwise would be persecuted in a state; that same officer would be promoted from the force headquarters, that ends that victims chance of getting any form of justice.
The truth is most Nigerians are fed up with failed government lies, greed, insecurity and high level of corruption that is still rocking the country for years. The hashtag (#) end Sars /police brutality protest was just a front of an entry to a wider issue that is rocking the nation.
The call for the restructuring of the police and the total disbandment of Sars is a call for the long-overdue restructuring of Nigeria. The mafia-like killings of the unarmed protesters is proof that Nigeria needs a serious overhaul.
The quick response to the civilian protesters and their killings has placed the country’s army in a very bad light. This follows the never-ending insurgency in the northern part of the country that the Nigerian army has not been able to get a clean slate for over 19 years.
Nigeria is dying daily under corruption, citizens face insecurity, lack of efficient power supply for their business. This is in spite of the huge investment that various governments had poured into power generation.
Price of petroleum is another factor that is worrying, Nigeria is a petrol exporting nation yet; many of its citizens can’t afford the pump price of petrol. That sector of the economy is filled with corrupt practices.
The protest over the last three weeks though, it was under the hashtag (#) endSARS/Police brutality. The deep unending problems of the country came to the forefront. The politicians cashed in on it by sponsoring thugs to disrupt the peaceful protest. The result is chaos all over the place.
It is somewhat surprising the international community had not been very critical of the killings during the protest. Panels of inquiry and other committees are being set up to look into ‘’what went wrong’’. I doubt if any or many Nigerians have any faith in these committees?
The victims and the entire population of Nigeria await the outcome of the protest, it is yet to be seen if these findings would be different from those of the past. What would satisfy the citizens is when persecutions start against police and others involved in wrongdoing.
By Ethe Ovie