This Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) problem in Lagos doesn’t make sense, as in; that, it shouldn’t be happening at all. But now that it is, I’ve decided that it might be the kind of thing the Bible spoke about in Ecclesiastes chapter 3. This is the verse that speaks about there being a time and season for everything. Only in our case with SARS Unit of the Nigerian Police Force, it is a time to kill, loot and another to protest.
The many problems with the Nigerian Police Force tend to take various shapes over different times. At one time, they made the 50 and 20 Naira notes so popular that the notes became scarce; simply because police officers were ‘special collectors’. Then they went from collecting 50 and 20 Naira notes to become the butt of many jokes because their patrol vans were always empty of fuel. This meant that they couldn’t do their jobs without demanding a mobilisation fee.
When the Boko Haram craziness started, it was Police jokes all over again. Comedians said it was better to pray for Divine Intervention than expect the Police to show up in a terrorist attack.
We laughed at all the jokes and ignored the annoyance of always giving away 50 naira or 20 naira; maybe because we could live with it. It’s just that this new method of harassing and sometimes killing innocent people because you own a gun; is, as Omawumi said, ‘e heavy for mouth’.
How is it that I can take a stroll at night without the fear of being jacked; but when I see a police officer, the urge to run away takes over? Why are news stories of robbery attacks scarce in the media as if nobody steals anymore; yet every other day, somebody is losing serious money to police officers or SARS operatives?
A young man leaves his house but first, he has to dress in clothes that don’t fit. He exchanges his real phone for a cheap ‘vex’ phone; the one that has bank alert of 2k in it. All of this to look as harmless as possible because nobody knows when or where SARS will block you.
Young men can’t drive around in their cars in peace anymore because that might be the day you lose your money or your life. Wow, that’s what armed robbers say before you get robbed. Not that I’m trying to compare SARS with thieves but there you have it.
Join the protest if you can and join your voice to the call for an end to this craziness. Hopefully, we can end police brutality before they end people that are dear to us.