by Haruna Muhammed Inuwa
Free advice! If you are one of those people with unprocessed anger and have no idea where to drop the balls of your unjustifiable frustrations, as a good friend, I would kindly advise you beforehand, to scroll further, a mile away from this piece. For, this article, this bus stop, might not be a welcoming one.
To some of us who have been fans of the media and repeatedly track every pressing issue that hits electronic media, we would all recall how brutal, however, controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS) have been. Against these backdrops, immediate bans have been legally made by the Police Force courtesy of the immediate past IGPs as a swift response to the SARS’s unprofessional conduct. Well, if my memory serves me well, December 2017, June 2018, January 2019, and in February this year, were some of the moments we all thought, the SARS would be gone for good. All piss and winds – talk with no actions/reforms, as the British would say.
Here we are, our hearts filled with anger and betrayal of trust. Disappointed and asking: when would this madness with the name SARS get cured?
Had it been SARS was a political or religious group, I would’ve said, there are rituals behind its foundation. But no, this is a low-budget tactical squad of the Police Force unleashing deliberate violence on the citizens meant to be protected by the Force.
It interesting to see how we all take this brutality personalized with the SARS personal. For the time, I saw some of the leading celebrities who control the youth musically calling for the Government’s immediate action to ban the ban-less SARS. A kind of newborn sense of unity that we dream to see someday in this country is happening right before our eyes – of an injury to one, injury to all, sort of. Could this be a miracle? Maybe. I would have said Nigerians are ready to hit the streets to agitate against the pressing issues beyond the acronym SARS, but I was taken aback with unprocessed anger against the controversial SARS. One of the top Nigerian musicians took over Twitter with harsh words calling the President an “Old man” in a disrespectful manner, while, turning back to his state Governor with low-tuned, more respectful, “Mr. Governor”. This is like Spanish origin idiom of the pot calling the kettle black – a situation in which somebody accuses someone else of a fault which the accuser shares. There have been more pressing that we need to join hands and call out the government, though, it happens, these musicians and other influencers are more worried about the FSARS, its operations, and the ban. We shouldn’t fashionably be selective or part-time critics.
Wait, what’s it?
Following the recent incident by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), the IGP through the Force Public Relations announced not only the ban of the FSARS but also other tactical squads including the Special Tactical Squad, Intelligent Response Team, Anti-Cultism Squad, etc, with immediate effect. Is this truly what want? Even with the above tactical squads, we are not safe in this country; talk more about banning the entire related operations against criminals. With over 200 million people, like a fate worse than death, Nigeria is being terrorized by criminals, from Boko-haram to Bandits, Kidnappers to cultists, Yahoo-boys to herdsmen, the list goes on endlessly. What we urgently need is security restructuring, not a ban.
A burning question is:
Why it is there have always been a strong voice and a different tune of agitation against SARS? Am I missing the puzzle or what? This isn’t the first, not the second, and probably, won’t be the last. Forgive me, why is it that my generations, the influencers of a certain industry are more worried about the ban on SARS not against the non-performing governmental system? Why are we so hard on the controversial SARS and pretty soft on the other pressing issues? Insecurity, poor mental state of health, corruption, and whatnot…
Personally, I am afraid we are missing something. We honesty lack priority as people. Or, maybe, just maybe, we want to a lawless country, and therefore, want the country to operate through our individual priorities. I am scared we are confusing the ultimate goals of the security mechanisms in this country, rather than calling for system reevaluation and restructuring, we are carelessly calling for a lifetime ban – using a wave of unprocessed anger to channel our complaints reflect the misinformed character in us. For what it is, we should redirect our cause; perhaps, we could find our collective sense of purpose.
Let us reason this well, we must collectively learn how to differentiate between an apple and onion, the good and bad, the bad, and worse. While Police’s humiliations and never-ending brutality on the innocent citizens in this country stand condemnable, we should critically also condemn all forms of frauds and the people behind – who are mostly the main target of the FSARS.
Inasmuch as we want to end Police brutality and endless unprofessionalism, we must also dine with reality while trying to look for a solution. This has been a poor route with which we mould our emotions and thoughts to always call for actions. That is why; we have been running in an uncontrolled direction, like a headless chicken. We consciously mustn’t allow our unprocessed anger and emotions to drive us when we are desperately begging for solutions.
Going forward, we must stand against all forms of atrocities against individuals regardless of where you are, or come from. We must accept the fact that the security architecture in this country needs urgent reevaluation and reforms, and hence, we shouldn’t be partial in our agitations.
For once, someone should prove me wrong!
Haruna Muhammed Inuwa is a Staff Writer at Educational Communities Worldwide and writes from India.