A big thank you to Chika for being the next entry of Birds of a Feather! Chika’s entry focuses on the current climate in Nigeria with the #EndSARS movement. This entry is so crucial to our current times as we have been on a continuous battle for our lives inside and outside the United States! We have to stand with our Brothers and Sisters no matter the location because we need each other! Chika, thank you so much for being willing to write this important entry! This blog is used to uplight all from the African Diaspora and I am very grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the cause! ~Cheyenne
Hey everyone, my name is Chika. I am a recent UC Graduate and this past couple of months have been very eye-opening to the type of world we live in. Before I get started, I first off I would like to thank Cheyenne for allowing me the opportunity to educate the community about what is going on in my home country, Nigeria.
To begin, SARS stands for Special Anti-Robbery Squad and in the early years, SARS was established to protect the people residing in Lagos from violent crime. SARS agents dress in plain clothes and use plain vehicles so that they would not be associated with the government. This quickly became a gateway for abuse of power, officials began to target well-dressed youth aged 18-35. Once they see young Nigerians with IPhones they harass them, they see they look good, they harass them. They order them off the roadside, ask for money, take valuables, torture, even kill those who oppose it. It’s an unfortunate truth that bribery, extortion, and corruption is not a new problem in Nigeria, activists have been protesting for years against SARS. The people that were sent here to protect us are the ones oppressing and hurting us. The videos and posts that have recently surfaced are only a fragment of the blatant abuse of power this unit utilizes.
Today my brothers and sisters in Nigeria are protesting at the capital, Abuja, and more than a hundred protesters have camped out in front of the country’s police headquarters demanding the disbandment of SARS. SARS has been banned three times however each time they have found a way back. This time there will be no reform. We must put an end to SARS. They need to be held accountable for the unjust disappearances and killings. We, young people, are the future of Nigeria. We have bright minds and strong voices. I urge you to stand in solidarity with your Nigerian brothers and sisters. Please continue to educate yourselves on the issue, continue to post, and continue to talk about it. The government believes we will get tired and our fire will burn out, but no. We’re just getting started!
“I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.” ~ Kwame Nkrumah
Since my blog promotes the well-being of ALL those that identify within the African Diaspora, I felt like it was only my duty to utilize my voice as well as the voices of my peers. You are me. I am you. We are each other. As I stated in my Purpose entry, overall Black people are placed in unprotected spaces globally and it hurts even more that this is happening in our own motherland. Since society cannot protect us, we have to protect each other! Living in constant fear within our own spaces with our own people should never be the case! We should not have to wait for our pain to be broadcasted throughout every social media outlet.
While our pain is at the forefront of the news, please take the time to partake in mental hygiene. It’s imperative that we take care of ourselves by any means necessary, so we can continue to strive as a people through our collective trauma. As young leaders, taking care is just as important as contributing to the cause!
#EndSARS purpose is to educate and motivate everybody to take a stand because the time is now. Whether if that is understanding the trials and tribulations of what’s going on, signing petitions, retweeting posts, or what have you, this movement cannot be silenced!