According to CNN Africa reports, on October 8th, Nigeria’s leading celebrities and activists organized mass protests across major cities in the country demanding an end to police brutality. SARS is a Nigerian police unit known as the Special Anti Robbery Squad. The #ENDSARS protest is led by the nation’s young people across Nigeria and the diaspora to shed light on the continuous atrocities committed by this police unit. As CNN describes, “the nationwide protests were a culmination of weeks of anger and outcry online by the country's young people over claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by a police unit known as the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).”
This piece has been compiled into an article from a series of Facebook Postings by a Nigerian based mother of five, Mrs. Olajumoke Fashanu.
Mrs. Fashanu is a chartered accountant who manages a Brokerage firm in Nigeria called Firsthome Mortgage Brokers Ltd. Her youngest is a twenty year old male who has been harassed by this SARS police unit. She has children living in Nigeria and in America. She says, she will continue to be a champion for young people because as a mother of young adults, it is painful to witness all these modern challenges they have to combat. From Black Lives Matter protest in America which her children have to live in daily fear of being discriminated against to the SARS brutality her male young adult has to deal with in Nigeria? Enough is Enough, she says!
Mrs. Fashanu Shares Her Agony of Being the Mother of a Young Male
As if the challenges of this age isn’t enough, if you are a parent of a young millennial, you can’t sleep with your two eyes closed. At every turn it’s unease and danger lurking ! I don’t even want to talk about the fears surrounding the female child! The young adult !
My rant is about the male young adult. The police lurk around the entire landscape looking for well dressed young male adults. Taking a stroll is dangerous, driving a car is not even safe at all! Definitely, he’s not found with any illegal stuff, his phone has nothing incriminating, he has driver’s license, the vehicle particulars are intact. Yet, they are harassed and the parents can only thank God that the ‘police /SARS’ were a bit sane and things didn’t go too southward so, my son is able to return home safe ! We Nigerian parents don’t talk about this because its part of the culture to keep things private so one does not appear to always have problems in their household. If you have sons who are undergraduates or fresh graduates and they have never experienced Police harassment/brutality, please raise up your hands. The only time I can breathe peacefully is when my son is at home! So, do we now have to keep our youth ‘Locked down?’ There was a time when he was harassed and SARS collected money collected from him. His father had to bail him out and was able to retrieve some of the money that SARS originally collected. Can we continue living this way?
SARS Requests Money From Mrs. Fashanu’s Daughters in America
We ran out of some groceries supplies, young man had one of his friends around, the assignment was for him to drop the friend at the Major bus-stop and buy the supplies from the nearest major Mall. This errand should take roughly two to three hours. Once the expected return time relapsed, I tried calling him but his phone was switched off, of course panic set in.
Next thing, a call comes in from the United States and it is from his elder sister. SARS had intercepted his journey. They search through his phone and see that he has American phone numbers on his contact! All efforts to convince them these numbers belongs to his elder siblings had been to no avail ! If he was a docile child the story would have been different. His head strong gave him leeway to make just one call to one of his sister. She introduced herself and had to wire SARS money into a bank account they provided! The money they wired to SARS bought my son’s freedom that day. Keep in mind that my son committed no offense nor crime. He was just arrested because he is a young man driving a car and his phone had foreign numbers !
Sincerely speaking, the Nigerian Police force in its entirety needs to be shaken and shaken all over again!
To make it worse for us Lagos residents, the numbers of uniformed people on our street is endless and uncountable ! It is not funny, please let’s continue to talk, let’s get the Government to save the lives of our young people! Let’s not stop praying for our dear Country!
The Decision to Hire Personal Security Body Guard for Her Son
To be honest, I would never have believed it if I was told that a time will come where I will have to hire private security for my son in Lagos Nigeria.
I am a hustling parent and citizen who has never earned any dime from government coffers. As a hustling parent of a Millennial youth, I am now forced to engage the services of private security guard just to ensure the safety of my young adult male child in Lagos, Nigeria. With these kinds of beings known as SARS on the streets whom are roaming around like a lion looking for young males to devour, what choice do I have?
I say, using hashtags as a woke millennial parent— hashtag #scrapsars #saynotosars #saveNigerianYouths #theirlivesmatter