EndSARS 2020 was an unforgettable moment in Nigeria’s history. The protest was forced as a result of the brutality Nigerians, especially the youth, were facing at the hands of police and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The protest, which initially aimed to combat the excesses of SARS, evolved into a broader struggle against bad governance.
This wasn’t just a digital outcry; young men and women went out on the streets for a peaceful protest. This was a wake-up call for Nigerian youth, who began to see that there was more to them than being just pawns in the hands of politicians; they could be catalysts for the societal change that was so desperately needed.
The protest initially progressed smoothly and effectively achieved its goal of disbanding the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). However, the situation took a turn for the worse when the protests were infiltrated by thugs (believed to be political), resulting in the loss of lives. Nigerians were both angered and deeply concerned about the lives lost during this period, although some still disputed the occurrence of these fatalities.
Celebrities, especially the champions of the EndSARS movement, including Mr. Macaroni and Falz, have led walks across the country today to mark the EndSARS remembrance.
In the three years since the protests, there is still much work to be done. The government must continue to hold police officers accountable for their actions and ensure that they are properly trained and equipped. It must also address the underlying causes of police brutality, such as poverty, inequality, and corruption.
On this third anniversary of the End SARS protests, we remember the victims of police brutality and the brave Nigerians who stood up for justice. We must also renew our commitment to fighting for a better Nigeria, where everyone is safe and treated with dignity.