In his bestselling book “The fire next time,” James Baldwin shared a statement that perfectly describes the ongoing strife with SARS, (the Special Anti-Robbery Squad) in Nigeria today. He noted (and I paraphrase) behind what we think of as menace, lies what we do not wish to face…that fact is that life is tragic. For the Nigerian youth today with SARS, life is indeed tragic.
The past couple of days have been filled with protests from one corner to another with Nigerian youth of all ages and caliber demanding for an end to SARS. Some youth have been injured in the process, some are missing and unaccounted for, while some have been killed. But what has also been very inspiring, very remarkable to see is how within few days, young Nigerians themselves, without a leader, without even coordination to some extent, have managed to coordinate a movement with logistics and rapid response, all to eloquently convey, why the ineptitude of SARS should end.
But just when there seemed to be hope for the Nigerian youth despite all the impediments they face, I listened as a former SARS Commander and Chief Superintendent of Police, Vandefan Tersugh James shared that he knows how difficult it is for someone ages 20-30 to own a car worth N7million naira in Nigeria. He noted that if they could not ascertain the source of the youth’s wealth, their background or family background, they would not only search the youth’s property without a warrant, but they could possibly detain the youth.
Herein lies why life as a youth in Nigeria is tragic. This thinking, this type of thinking for Africa’s most populous country’s youth population is a key reason why SARS must and should end. That’s all! Otherwise life for Nigeria’s youth will not only remain tragic, but useless. END SARS NOW!