The predominant rumors of torture, extortion, murder, and blackmail of Nigerian citizens especially the youths by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) in the nation have become a growing menace. Many Nigerians have described the SARS of the Nigeria Police as a pipeline for prejudice and injustice that has led to the loss of human lives.
A greater percentage of the masses seem to have had enough of the real and imagined intimidation of the Nigeria Police and are ready to put a stop to it by all means.
Following the killing of a young man in Ughelli by a SARS officer during the weekend, youths of Ughelli took the street as they could be seen carrying nine caskets, protesting on the abrupt end of SARS operation in the nation. The youths asserted that SARS was deviating from the duties of protecting lives and property to killing and maiming youths who might be innocent if proper investigations were carried out.
Nigerian Celebrities were not left out in the #ENDSARS campaign. A lot of these artistes were seen sending out a piece of their minds on their Instagram and Twitter handles, while decided to take some more direct approach to end the malicious activities of SARS operation.
Peter Okoye of the Former Psquare duo took to his Instagram handle to send add his voice over the matter. ‘How many more people before you will act as the Commander in Chief’ he said.
Falzthebahd guy decried the jungle justice and manslaughter of the Police department. ‘We are sick of having to complain about one police incident or the other. The people that are supposed to be protecting us are harassing us, they are robbing us and killing. These men must get off our Street’.
Wizkid and Don Jazzy could not hide their anger as they sent torrents and blasts to the government of Nigeria on tweeter. In a tweet, Wizkid told the President of Nigeria to focus on the growing ills in Nigeria instead of Commenting on US Affairs.
‘Donald Trump is not your business! Old man! Police/Sarz still killing Nigerian youth on a daily! Do something! Nothing concern you for America. Face your country!’ He Tweeted.
He posted this after the Nigerian president sent his regards to the President of the US and his wife Melania and prayed for their quick recovery from COVID-19.
Popular Controversial Singer, Naira Marley was not left out of the virtual protest.
He took more direct turns yesterday, Oct 4th, 2020, as he explained that protests on social media handles will do little or nothing to change the growing societal venom.
‘In this country, we love protesting on Twitter. That’s the problem’. He began his tweet thus.
‘All I’m saying is we need to stop protesting on Twitter because that’s all we’ve been doing. We need to protest in real life, just say you’re scared and you will rather tweet from home’.
‘Protesting is never a disturbance of the peace. Corruption, injustice, war and intimidation are disturbances of the peace’.
Peaceful Revolution’ he tweeted.
A lot of his fans took him for a troll, they requested that he man up to his words by leading the protest. Some felt his words were mere rants on social media and that should not be taken seriously.
As a reply to their queries, he wrote; ‘If y’all want me to lead the protest, I will lead but just know that they will send me to Kirikiri prison this time’.
Massive posts trouped in, over 13.4k retweets, 60.5k love reactions, and over 4000 comments, supporting his courage and bravery as it seemed the singer will be joining Runtown to protest, although in different days, on the gruesome murder of Nigerian Youths.
After much deliberations, the ‘Am I a Yahoo boy’ singer settled for Tuesday, Oct 6th as the match out day for the protest.
‘So on Tuesday, we got some SARS coming out with us. The ones that claim to only come out for big operations and not dirty works on the road.’ he tweeted.
‘They are coming out to show support and to answer some questions, we also get some police officers and soldiers joining the protest.’
He informed his fans of their safety and the legitimacy of the movement.
‘Don’t Forget guys, just in case you see any SARS or any force there on Tuesday, don’t start any fight. We are allowed to ask questions. Remember no fight, no vandalism, peaceful Protest’.
Multiple reactions followed his declaration to lead a protest. Some pointed out the failed nature of every protest that has been led in the country, the arrests that follow, and the sporadic gunshots on protesters, drawing comparisons to the #RevolutionNow protest that has been ongoing.
A different sect felt the negotiation and inquisition approach was not the best way to work things out as there was no justifiable claim that can be offered by SARS to appease the lost souls of youths.
Just as the tension kept rising, the musician took to his Instagram page to host a live video where he drew a broader analysis of the protest. ‘I don’t owe any of you guys nothing. I have the same rights as you’ he said.
‘You need to strangle your government, you need to be on their neck, the same way you are on a Celebrity’s neck. Deep down in me, I don’t think End SARS is the problem. It’s not about End SARS, the police are still going to shoot or someone else with the gun will do the shooting.’ ‘You need to stop the shooting’. he said during the live event.
Although 9 am on October 6th, 2020 has been scheduled as the marching time, with the kickoff point slated to be the 2nd Tollgate, Nigerians are still skeptical about the Marlian-led movement.
Naira Marley, Azeez Adeshina Fashola has not been a good friend of the law and its enforcement agencies.
He was arrested by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on May 10, 2019, over claims of internet fraud.
His arrest alongside four other youths came about after the release of his single “Am I Yahoo Boy”. On May 6, 2020, He was arrested for violating national order restricting interstate travels.
Following his previous engagement with the Police Force, the retraction and careful choice of words of the once vocal music lord appeared to be an act of prudence, although some people interpreted it to be cowardice.
Naira Marley seems to have realized that his actions this time around might not take a favorable turn as he may risk being sent to Kirikiri prison.
Naira Marley realises that there is freedom of speech but there is no guaranteed freedom after speech.
Photo Credit: Vanguardngr
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