Here’s one more reason why Nigeria’s 60th Independence Celebration is not a time to dance around

In 10 days, Nigeria will be celebrating her 6oth independence anniversary when we all experience nostalgic feelings and a sense of oneness. But from all indications, things may take a solemn mood this year as Nigeria celebrates her Diamond jubilee.

The killings, the food prices, the added taxes, epileptic power, bad roads are just a few. But one has struck some Nigerians who have decided to take action, calling for a nationwide strike on October 1 following the killing of a youth corps member, Miss Stella Ifeoma Abugu, by the operatives of the now deadly Police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Miss Abugu was reported to have died in police custody in Abuja a day after she was arrested by SARS Operatives in place of her boyfriend, Mr Afam Ugwunwa, who the SARS officers came to arrest for an undisclosed offence.

The SARS operatives were said to have invaded the house of Afam at Wumba village Lokogoma, Abuja, on September 10, 2020, but ended up arresting Miss Abugu when they didn’t find him.

The family lawyer of the deceased has filed an allegation of rape and murder against the SARS operatives involved. Meanwhile, the culprits whose identities are yet to be disclosed were said to have been on an illegal duty according to the SARS unit at Guzape Abuja.

Since SARS became a fully-adapted Police unit and social media became a relatively safe space to report news, stories of killing of innocent Nigerians have overwhelmed stories of their successes. There are now too many gory tales of their horrific operations against innocent Nigerians.

It can be recalled that there was a protest and a nationwide call to #EndSARS Tuesday, September 17, 2020, following the hot chase of some youth in Osogbo by the SARS operatives, which led to the death of one of them.

This is just two stories. But one death is enough to cause a protest.

In March 2017, 23-year-old Miracle was arrested and detained by SARS officers in Neni, Anambra, accused of stealing a laptop. He was tortured and starved during the 40 days he was in detention before he was charged and brought before a court.

Miracle said, “…their leader directed them to go and hang me. They took me to the back of the hall and tied me with ropes. Then they started using all manner of items to beat me, including machetes, sticks, inflicting me with all kinds of injuries. One of the officers used an exhaust pipe to hit me on my teeth, breaking my teeth. I was left on that hanger for more than three hours…”

In October 2018, 24-year-old Sunday Bang, an amateur boxer was arrested in his home in Abuja by SARS officers and accused of robbery. He was held in detention for 5 weeks without access to family, lawyers or medical care – and was not charged in court. While in SARS detention, he suffered bone fractures and other injuries due to torture and other ill-treatment.

In 2019, Toni Astro, a software developer, was harassed and assaulted by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and accused of being a fraudster just because he was carrying a laptop. Astro had guns pointed at his legs and was asked to pay $2,760 (1M Naira). He was also beaten up and dragged to the police station. Astro presented his student I.D card to the SARS operatives but they still wouldn’t let him go, instead, they threatened to take him to Kiri Kiri.

This has gone unchecked for too long and this is one more reason why Nigerians must join their voices together on 1 October in the struggle against tyranny and the impunity with which SARS operates to make our co-existence and independence worth celebrating.

Here’s how Nigerians are reacting:

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail