top of page

SARS: Nigeria and Police Brutality

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Last week, October 1st 2020, marked sixty years of Nigeria’s independence from British Colonial rule. Nigerians across the diaspora took to social media to celebrate their diamond jubilee whilst homeland Nigerians batted an eye. Many sent backlash towards those outside of the country, condemning their celebratory happiness. Ergo, what took prominence was the rhetoric:

“60 years and nothing to show for it”

But why? Why were the homeland Nigerians against the celebrations of those outside? Why are they so anguished? Police Brutality and Governmental Corruption.


Nigeria’s ‘Special Anti-Robbery Squad’ (SARS) has come under intense fire and resistance by the youths of Nigeria. Young people from Delta, Abuja, Benin, Ibadan and more have come together in solidarity and pain. Pain caused by those who are meant to protect them. Those who have broken the ‘Social Contract’ (click here to learn more) between Nigerians and those in power. According to Wikipedia, SARS is a police unit under the ‘Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department’ (FCIID). The main role of this unit is to deal with “crimes associated with armed robbery, car snatching, kidnapping, cattle rustling and crimes associated with firearms” (Wikipedia). However, public records detail the gruesome and corrupt acts of malpractices perpetrated by SARS against the Nigerian public. Stories and accounts by young people of their interactions with SARS have left many both terrified and in disbelief. Videos of SARS organising and facilitating theft and kidnapping. rape and murder, unlawful arrests and detentions, torture and humiliation have been shared across the internet. And these acts are just the tip of the iceberg of corruption and brutality.

What is happening in Nigeria?

With ‘Black Lives Matter’ raging against police brutality outside Africa, the diaspora has unknowingly turned a blind eye towards police brutality within Africa. Nigeria is known for having a corrupt government with corrupt systems. This corruption only seemed to have worsened under President Buhari. Since his election into office, the State of Nigeria has been at disarray. From unemployment being at a rate of 27.1% (up from 23.1% in Q3 2018, when the unemployment report was last published - QuartzAfrica) to multiple governmental controversies, the Nigerian public have come to detest the government. And of course, with corruption of power come exploitation. It has been brought to light that SARS are targeting individuals based upon a thwarted profiling system. This system profiles young people based upon their attire. Seems like a satirical reflection of racial profiling. The concept of ‘high status symbols’ - Iphones and designer clothing - being synonymous with illegality have allowed for this triade extortion of youths. SARS have utilised this illogical basis for a ‘just’ excuse to conduct and operate illegal breaking and entering, illegal stop and searches, and illegal road blockades. All this is being done without valid warrants. Many with unconventional accessories such as piercings on men, tattoos, even dreadlocks and ‘unusual’ hair colouring, have been victims to unlawful harassment by members of SARS. Governmental officials have constantly ignored or have wilfully remained ignorant to the terror of the public incited by SARS. This has resulted in mass outcry from Nigerians in anger.

The Hashtag - ‘ENDSARSNOW’:

With youth solidarity and celebrities’ support, the hashtag, ‘ENDSARSNOW’, is trending across the globe. Multiple protests within Nigeria and Major cities such as New York and London (UK) have taken place today, Sunday 11th October. Only ten days ago was Muhammadu Buhari wishing his people a glorious diamond jubilee. Now, he is in the hot sat for deceit. This is the same president that condemned the Libyan Government for treating Nigerians as “goats” (learn more here), yet he treats Nigerians as cattle fodder for his and his fellow elites’ gains. Muhammadu Buhari and his peers have created the devastation that Nigeria is today. They have contributed and encouraged the rampant corruption of power that have allowed for the likes of SARS to terrorise and destroy.

[Image by Adeboro Odunlami from Pixabay]

76 views0 comments


bottom of page