‘Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.’
Chapter IV. No 1. Nigerian Constitution, 1999.For the first time in my life in a long while, I have seen Nigerians unified with one voice, fighting the same cause with so much synergy and intensity. What are we fighting for? simply put, upholding the provisions of Chapter VI of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999; fundamental human rights.
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Ironically, those who are saddled with the responsibility to protect and make sure that Nigerians enjoy the fundamental human right to life, have for a long while been the ones to snatch it from our delicate clasp. The Nigerian Police has been neglected by various governments in Nigeria since its formation in 1930 and men of this group have continued to roam like sheep without a shepherd. They act within and outside their bounds without checks and balances. The mere sight of a prosperous Nigerian youth riles them up. It is in line to say that men of an offshoot of the Nigerian police, Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) have gone rogue. with SARS in existence, mostly Nigerian youths are likely to die by the bullets of an officer than being killed by an oncoming vehicle or armed robbers. Trepidation now stems from encountering SARS officers who are supposed to protect you. Nigerians have been pushed to the wall for donkey years and so we mastered the art of breaking those walls down for a little breather before we are pushed further close to another wall. However, standing amidst protestors, today, in Amuwo Odofin LGA and listening to the thunderous and passionate tune of the Nigerian National anthem being sung, I thought to myself, could this be it? could this be a precursor to a drastic change in Nigeria? I felt strongly in my heart that if this protest against the menace, brutality, extortion, killings meted on Nigerians by SARS is nurtured and sustained, Nigerians will be taken seriously by the ruling class.
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#EndSARS has been around on social media for close to three years since the likes of Jack Robison and Segun Awosanya raised dust about SARS’ violation of human rights but it has not enjoyed this much rave that it is getting at the moment. The hashtag currently sits atop the chart on the world trending topics on Twitter. It has caught the attention of international media houses, celebrities, and footballers like Trey Songz, Chance The Rapper, John Boyega, Big Sean, Ian Wright, and so on. It is very easy to feel aloof when something does not directly affect you. However, we all must bring out our empathetic side because, who knows, it might be you, tomorrow. The call to #EndSARS is not a sectional one. It does not have its roots in tribe, religion or politics, so the integrity of this movement is not in doubt. Lend your voice, today to #EndSARS. The police reform bill signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari did nothing in regards to the anti-SARS agitations, painting a picture of the irresponsibility of the government who seem to be in bed with killers of the citizens they swore to protect. Since no serious reform is in sight, SARS MUST GO! As citizens, we must latch on to this movement, harness it and grow in responsibility. Enough of the apathetic nature of yesteryears. Culture, religion, gender, ethnicity or any other affiliation does not bind us only our humanity. As humans, we must come to the understanding that you are not safe until your neighbour is safe. In one accord, we must continue to lend our voices with the seriousness of intention until we are taken seriously. More importantly, there are no more walls to break, we must push back. We must push back with our votes! We must push back with our voices! We must let those with power know that they are on hand to serve us. Nigerians must stop being malleable, it has not worked. Today’s demonstration showed me that Nigerians are passionate about Nigeria and so we should build on this and take the bull by its horns. Featured Image Source: Al Jazeera
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