The St. Louis group of African Youths in diaspora have scheduled Sunday, October 18 to join the #EndSARS movement.
This is in show of support to Nigeria following the ruthless reaction and actions of SARS, a sect in the Nigerian Police (now disbanded), on Nigerians, especially the youths. This has led to a massive protest accross the country, leading to major shutdowns.
In a statement released to GBETU, the ST. Louis group says it is joining the protest against “a dreadful Police Force Unit in Nigeria responsible for several police brutalities all over Nigeria.”
“The subject is a special carve-out of the Nigerian Police Force in Nigeria called SARS (an acronym for “Special Anti-Robbery Squad”). Created in 1992, this police force unit has refused to carry out its mandate that could easily be deduced from the full meaning of its acronym – which is to respond to on-going robberies (where perpetrators are armed or unarmed). Instead, and recently the group has resorted to engaging in several egregious activities such as extreme profiling of Nigerian youths (often informed by the youths’ appearance where they appear “flamboyant” in their dressings, hairstyles, electronic gadgets they possess, cars, etc). This profiling (which occurs on every Nigerian street) often morph into extortion, torture, framing, blackmail, and sometimes death by gunshot wounds inflicted by this group of police officers.
“The continuous horrendous actions of SARS spiraled recently with the killings of almost 8 youths in the South-Western parts of Nigeria for obvious reasons for which SARS is known for. One notorious fact is that almost every Nigerian youth living in Nigeria (or has moved outside of Nigeria) has had at least one encounter (or know someone who has had an encounter) with SARS. The encounter is always marked with the same technique, they profile the youths, instill fear in them using their weapons, then extort them, and where they refuse or do not have money, they are shot dead by SARS.
ST Louis added that, “The incessant killings and extortion have reached its zenith, and that is the rationale behind the (now) world-conscious protest going on as propagated by the Nigerian youths – locally and internationally.”
The group have therefore scheduled Sunday, 18th October 2020 for a protest in downtown St. Louis.
“We, as Nigerian youths, in the diaspora (in the St. Louis and neighboring areas) have also resolved to add our voice to this ongoing protest. We have scheduled Sunday, 18th October 2020 for a protest in downtown St. Louis.
To the Muhammadu Buhari-led government, ST LOUIS requests that the administration should only “disband SARS but to refrain from a reformation of SARS under the guise of a different name.