This week, footballer Tiamiyu Kazeem became the latest hashtag in a long and depressing string of abuses of power by the Nigerian Police, especially the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). SARS was created at the height of Nigerian insecurity to curb armed robbery and restore order to the country. They have evolved beyond this primary mandate, choosing instead to harass citizens, extort them of their money and possessions, torture them and kill them where possible. It is so common for SARS to take human life, that they justify it (as they did in Tiamiyu’s case) with poor excuses like saying a person constituted a threat because they wore a camouflage hat.
In spite of nationwide protests and two official edicts by the federal government for SARS to be scrapped and reconstituted, it persists, endangering lives in exchange for an opportunity to extort innocent citizens of their money. In response to the death of Tiamiyu, youths in Sagamu took to the streets to voice their displeasure at the recklessness of the SARS officials who killed him and asking for justice for the deceased. The response of the state government was to try to push back the protest through violent force, killing two innocent protesters.
#SagamuOnFire#SagamuOnFire#SagamuOnFire #SagamuOnFire #SagamuOnFire #SagamuOnFire @RuggedyBaba @segalink @ProfOsinbajo @PoliceNG Policemen are killing our youths is this kind of security we want in #Nigeria Do retweet if you see to reach the appropriate pic.twitter.com/w0lKRQhHmE
— #Milwall (@Balatty35) February 24, 2020
How can anyone justify this behavior as normal? How can a police officer who is supposed to protect citizens, especially in peaceful protest justify killing citizens in the name of self-privilege. Taking the life of person and throwing their families into disarray. What do we have to do to ensure that the Nigerian police is so well regulated, their clumsiness, uncommitted nature and greed do not cost another innocent citizen their life.