We Asked Some Older People What They Think About The #EndSARS Movement

October 11, 2020

The #EndSARS peaceful protests have been going on for five days across the country and across the world. Nigerians are making demands to end the body that inflicts so much brutality on innocent citizens.

Most of people involved in the protests are young, and it’s because they’re the most affected by SARS, but we decided to ask the older people what they think about the movement.

1. Tola, early 60s

Well, I’m a citizen of Nigeria, so I believe in the right to peacefully protest. The thing is, in situations like these, hoodlums take over and it gets really violent and that’s what I’m afraid of. You might not believe me, but SARS has stopped me a few times. I look younger than my age. They’d ask me who owns the car and I’d tell them but it has never gotten aggressive. I imagine that it’s worse for young people. These people don’t know that things have changed and young people make money in much easier ways than we used to in our time so they’ll probably be angry if they saw a young guy with a car, looking nice.

The thing with the military and armed forces in Nigeria is that they all need one form of reform or another. If we’re trying to say “End SARS”, we should also probably say “End police” or “End the military”. Recently I heard that some soldiers raped a girl at a road block in Ondo State. We can’t say “End the military”. SARS definitely needs to be reformed and reoriented, and not ended, just like many other military bodies in Nigeria.

2. Biola, 53

It’s with this outbreak I found out that SARS harasses, exploits and kills young people. I thought they were this special unit that is effective in covet operations and taking down criminals and people associated with criminals. I was shocked when my daughter told me about them and how they operate. Has it now become a crime to be young in Nigeria?

Amidst all of this though, what is at the top of my mind is that if this thing is so serious, why is the media not covering it? Are they being told not to talk about it?

3. Peter, 57

I understand what these young people are suffering. In 1994, shortly before I got married, I had my own experience with SARS. It wasn’t so pleasant. Moving around, I’ve also seen some boys get harassed, but I thought it was just extortion. I didn’t know they were killing people as well. That’s terrible.

4. Uche, 58

I heard about it but it’s not really my business. If they want to protest, they should protest. Me I just came back from church and all that’s on my mind is what I’m going to eat.

5. Thomas, 58

It is sheer arrogance, insanity, and power-drunkenness that will make you kill a fellow human being. I know that when they were introduced, SARS was instrumental in curbing the endemic that was prevalent at the time. Kudos to them for that. But over the years, they’ve grown wings. They think they’re gods now. And it’s because they have the power to detain, investigate and prosecute people. Yahoo yahoo is a crime, yes. But are the punishments not specified in our penal codes?

My take? Don’t end SARS, reform it. The scrapping of SARS at this time will create a flourishing market for cybercrime operators. Being a very technical and specialized crime, it will require the deployment of new officers that would have to be properly trained in this field of crime detection. If the government decides to scrap SARS, those who are going to perform their functions, will they not be Nigerians? For as long as those who will take over from SARS will be Nigerians, it is delusional to expect complete institutional transformation. Like every rotten system and institution in Nigeria, what should be done to SARS is a reformative overhaul of the Unit that will purge it of all its iniquities.

In the reform process, those among them whose records of performance are scandalous, disgraceful, damaging and below par should be dismissed summarily. Those with manageable records of several warnings and reprimands can be given orderly room trials to determine their post-reprimand behaviour. Those with excellent professional records and no misdemeanours should be retained and motivated with career palliatives and commendation letters.

6. Lekan, mid 50s

I recently read somewhere that anyone who isn’t joining people to condemn SARS right now has never experienced them, and does not have family meembers who have experienced them. It’s true. These SARS people have made themselves gods. They are a huge problem, and I love the fact that young people are going out to protest. I have heard so, so many true stories about innocent victims of these people, so I know they’re a problem.

During service today, there were peaceful protesters moving around the church, and suddenly SARS operatives came with tear gas and started smoking the entire place up. We had to end service because church was filled with tear gas. And these protesters were peaceful o. The police needs to be more mature. They have a job to protect us, and if they can’t they need to be ended.

7. Mr. T, 51

The concept of SARS is not terrible. Nigeria made it terrible. I have done a lot of interstate road travelling and I have seen seen a lot of SARS harassments. Nigerians have the right to protest peacefully, and I’m proud they’re doing just that.

David Odunlami

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

May 15, 2020

For reasons best known to me (I’m bored, wistful and stir crazy, stuck at home with two sexagenarians), I have been dutifully spending a large percentage (I can’t say how large, this is a work post) of my day, researching the first few abroads I plan on living in when this whole ordeal is over. […]

October 31, 2020

There has been a curious observation that Nigerian police officers are off the streets. This is coming after the wave of violence that greeted the curfew order imposed in Lagos State and other states in Nigeria following the #EndSARS protests and the highly controversial #LekkiMassacre But if police officers are truly off the streets, there’s […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

November 29, 2020

The idea of a blind date sounds exciting, but nobody really knows what they’re getting themselves into. It can go rather well or horribly wrong. Let’s tell you a short story. One you probably know too well. 1. You are on your lane when your friends decide to set you up on a date You […]

Nigerian Army testifies SARS panel
November 29, 2020

The Nigerian Army has shared their testimony twice at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution For Victims of SARS Related Abuses. At Zikoko Citizen, we have been following the “Lagos SARS panel” ever since the panel was inaugurated, and we have also been present at the panel hearing on the two occasions […]

Recommended Quizzes

April 14, 2020

Every friend group consists of very different and specific characters — from the parent to the fun one — and it can be a little tough figuring out where you fall. So, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know exactly what kind of friend you are. Take to find out:

November 15, 2019

There are two types of people in Nigeria right now: those who are proud Marlians, and those who are still in denial about stanning the divisive star. So, for those who proudly wear the Marlian tag, we made a quiz to test how well you really know Naira Marley. If you get more than 6 […]

April 1, 2020

Everyone has a Nigerian bank that matches their personality. You could either be as likeable as GTB, as efficient as Access or as mature as First Bank. Either way, all you have to do is take this quiz and we’ll let you know with almost 100% certainty. So, go ahead:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

More from Citizen

Nigerian Army testifies SARS panel
November 29, 2020

The Nigerian Army has shared their testimony twice at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution For Victims of SARS Related Abuses. At Zikoko Citizen, we have been following the “Lagos SARS panel” ever since the panel was inaugurated, and we have also been present at the panel hearing on the two occasions […]

Cross River by-election
November 27, 2020

There will be by-elections in Cross River and some states other in Nigeria on December 5, 2020, and we’re counting down to the elections. We have written about everything you need to know about the by-elections and all the candidates in the Bayelsa West and Central Senatorial by-election. In Cross River state, the death of […]

bayelsa by-election
November 26, 2020

A few weeks, ago we wrote about the by-elections that will be taking place on December 5, 2020, including the most important things you need to know. In addition to that, we will be writing about the candidates in the Bayelsa West and Bayelsa Central senatorial by-elections. This is because it is important for you […]

UK Sanctions Nigeria
November 24, 2020

Yesterday, November 24th 2020, the UK parliament, at the Westminister Hall debated e-petition 554150, relating to Nigeria and the sanctions regime. The debate was led by Theresa Villiers MP, and it suggested sanctions for members of the Nigerian Government and police officers who have been involved in human rights abuses. The parliamentary debate has generated […]

Nigeria recession
November 23, 2020

Recession, palliative, ad-hoc committee, ultra-modern, bistro — you can’t claim to be a Nigerian if you’ve never heard these words. They are so popular, we wrote about them. Speaking of recession, on Saturday, November 22nd, 2020, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported that Nigeria’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) reduced by 3.62% from September to October […]

November 19, 2020

The Nigerian police is ranked as one of the worst in the world, and the Nigerian society is notable for widespread human rights abuses. In your house or outside it, you’re always a moment away from having your rights abused by the police in Nigeria. After the #EndSARS protests, the Nigerian police have ramped up […]

CNN Lekki
November 18, 2020

Some Nigerians were still rolling in their bed this morning, trying to pick up pieces of their lives after the Lekki Massacre, when CNN Africa sent shockwaves through Nigeria’s part of the Internet.  In a brilliant collation of all the videos that have trended over the #LekkiMassacre, mixed with excellent investigative reportage that made use […]

Eromosele Adene
November 17, 2020

If you don’t know about Eromosle “Eromz” Adene’s case, well you should. The arrest of the 27-year old musician and philanthropist has generated a lot of controversy across social media, with opinions and counter opinions on how horrible the Nigerian society is, and why the Nigerian government cannot keep abusing human rights while getting away […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X