It's been traumatic here in Lagos Nigeria; an aftermath of a peaceful protest against police brutality led by young Nigerians across the country. For the first time, we weren't divided along any line but united with one cause, Police Reform, due to the horrendous experiences; over time, by young people who could no longer stomach it.
I read with horror, distasteful experiences of young people with a realization that the Police Force have derailed from its objective of protecting lives and properties - to becoming monsters, especially its unit known as Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS)
Young people are profiled and tortured for looing a certain way, having access to latest gadgets, driving certain cars, having good amount in their bank accounts and labeled fraudsters. Some are victims of mistaken identity and stray bullets; they never live to tell the stories whilst their families struggle for closure, many years later. No justice!!! These security operatives are emboldened by the fact that impunity is the order of the day.
Would I get over the horrific rape and sexual violence experiences of young women - constantly and brutally assaulted by men in uniform; with snide remarks knowing impunity is the order of the day. About a year ago, sex workers were raped with cellophane by these officers in Abuja. These women are yet to get justice.
The peaceful protest against their excesses were met with resistance after 13 days when peaceful protesters (about 15) were shot and killed, with a lot more injured and receiving treatment in hospitals by the Military. Who shoots at peaceful protesters? Isn't it constitutional to protest? I AM IN PAIN. These led to breakdown of law and order with public and private properties burnt, businesses looted, women raped, scores killed - mind you, by hoodlums who took advantage of the situation.
When would peace be restored and justice served? We will continue to raise our voices against injustice, impunity and gender based violence. WE NEED MORE CRUSADERS. I WRITE IN PAIN.