END SARS: Nigerian Cold War And The Pyromaniac Sabotage

By Roland Bayode and Oguntuase Esther T.

Change has always been the demand of our people right from one generation to another, but it’s ridiculous enough seeing their long plea becoming a ludicrous entity in the atmosphere for decades without witnessing, actualizing, and fulfilling their old-time momenta pursuit. Denizen’s dream is becoming a fantasy and all their aspiration, intuition, vision, and strive

to succeed in our so-called giant of Africa is fitting to be called a mission impossible as political conquest is subjugating and dominating all affairs of the state that the son or daughter of nobody is made the subject of prone to the political animals.

What else is changing when our requests and supplications don’t seem to be of interest to our leaders in a democratic setting? Rather the tactics and formation of how to rotate the wheel so the tide will turn right on each party’s realm are what the masses now view to be their utmost priority, who exactly will give the change our progenitors and ancestors long await for in years?

The maxim of leaders should raise leaders don’t want to work in our region, yet we have been living in the whites’ shoes since the day of our independence aspiring for an upswing in our daily encounters.

No doubt, we have men of noble integrity at the corner of our institutions, but the system would rather prefer and regard spiral of silence theory as an adopted doctrine all residents must adhere to, if they want a restful comfort in their castle, hence majority are lulled and hushed in cluelessness of understanding the notion of fighting for what is morally wrong and politically right. 

No one would dare to play with the cobra’s tail, the pen to write is largely either influence or suppress with some restrictions. What then do we call a society where truth is not majorly accepted?

Nigeria and the concept of politics for years have to turn out to be an opposing correlating comparison in terms of application, governance, and delivery to her citizen. Series of articles have been written by great writers to right the wrongs in our society but the case continues to prevail… Vibrant and veteran activists have urged for good governance a long time heretofore instead, the coconut’s panes continue to harden and things, system, parliaments, people, politics and power starts falling into fractions.  What a county indeed!

The rate at which poverty is massacring our men is becoming intensifying in the land that People are famished, crying, and dying to have their daily meal, yet we have elected executives and three of African world richest men on our side but nothing ceases to change. Besides Poverty has the power to make an imperial honest man misbehave, dearth could make a prince steal at the market square in the dark hour. 

Many of the citizens always lament and patiently wait till the election period to make another choice for themselves by electing another leader whose sagacity and conscience while aspiring might convince them well enough to be their chosen one but things often go wrong at the last edge when their state of penury sight the currency they only imagine in their dreams on election day, thus their integrity will be traded for the fund.

One cannot argue the very oblivious fact that the market is always full a day after an election but they will live for good four years to suffer their fate. Who then do we blame? The loaded wagon who utilized poverty as an opportunity to achieve their goals or an average Nigeria who sweat in the perdition of hell to cater to his welfare daily? Whatever answers politicians are emperors not to be underrated at their game.

To some youth, their fight is keeping out the old men away from the office, they want to have a taste and feel of what sitting in that ultimate seat will look like but the ancient philosophy of traditionalism in our political affairs has bastardized the whole system entirely. If you don’t know the right people, you will live long on the verge of dawdle till Christ comes. Nelson Mandela, once said that “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed”.

Right from the preliminary stage, the youth is often referred to as the leaders of tomorrow but they are nowhere to be found when decisions are been taken, hence many thought the strenuous youths have been silence and settled in the game of thrones, but they turn out to be observing the unbroken pitiful scenario as they unitedly raise their voice in oneness to demand the new Nigeria wished for. No dispute, it was a protest out of frustration from poverty, reformation of the judiciary, reviews of wardrobes and other allowance of our lawmakers, a freedom fight for graduates to bet employment after graduation from tertiary institutions, and good governance as a whole.

This revolt navigated the cases of fire outbreak as it engulfed the nation disrupting the usual business life of the people and endangering them. This cause also annihilated properties worth millions of naira, rendered survivors homeless, jobless, and blended suffering from poverty.

 The world life expectancy report in 2016 ranked Nigeria first in the world for the number of deaths by fire. Recently, the country had been plagued into a state of anarchy and unrest due to the solidarity protest, demonstration, and online activism of angry Nigerian youths against the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

Young Nigerians had been provoked to action due to a trending video that had been released on the 3rd of October, 2020 showing a SARS officer shooting a young Nigerian in front of Wetland hotel Ughelli, Delta State. The trending video had caused a public outcry on social media, especially Twitter with the hashtag #Endsars.

Two days after the trending video was released, another report surfaced revealing a SARS officer killing a 20-year-old upcoming musician. The victim whose name was Daniel Chibuike was popularly called sleek in his neighbourhood. Sleek was said to have been sitting in front of a hotel with his friend and had flea when SARS officers approached them. He had been supposedly shot dead as they ran through a supermarket and his friend was arrested. 

As a result of the long record of abuse and brutality of young Nigerians by SARS officers, the nation was plunged into a state of uproar and a nationwide protest commenced in various states of the country on the 7th of October, 2020. The protest which had lasted for two weeks before the nation was addressed by her president, Muhammadu Buhari, had brought along with its losses and damages to most parts of the country.

Several police stations were burnt down in all parts of the country. In Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest commercial city, no fewer than twenty police stations were set ablaze. A police station in Orile-Iganmu was set on fire by suspected thugs in Lagos in the early hours of Tuesday, 20th of October, 2020.

Some of the police formations which were allegedly attacked during the crisis were: Layeni station,  Amukoko station, Cele outpost under the Ijesha division, and the disbanded SARS office at Ajegunle amongst others. A divisional police station in the Okitipupa area of the Ondo state was also razed by hoodlums on October 22nd, 2020.

Other areas in the country were also obliterated with fire. Hoodlums had set ablaze Ajeromi-Ifelodun local government area secretariat in Lagos and more than 20 vehicles owned by staffs who had earlier reported to work were covered in smoke.

On the 20th of October, 2020, while the protest was ongoing, thugs hauled Jos city’s biggest market, Terminus, where they burnt cars and hauled shops. On the same day, suspected miscreants and arsonists burnt down the Dutse Makaranta police station in the Kubwa area of Abuja. The following day was also filled with cases of fuel added to the fire as hoodlums who seemed to be protesting the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki tollgate set ablaze the headquarters of the Nigerian port authority building in Marina Lagos. We can also recall that angry youths marched to the All Progressive Congress (APC) secretariat located at  Oyemekun road, by the cathedral and attacked the building, setting it on fire.

On the 21st of October, Endsars protesters burnt down the police A-division along Oba-Adesida road in Akure and the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) office along oda road opposite Shoprite in Akure, Ondo state. On the same day, Television Continental (TVC) station in the Ikosi-Ketu area of Lagos state had been supposedly burnt down by hoodlums who attacked the building.

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