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Nigeria: SARS, Not Our Problem

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nigeria:-sars,-not-our-problem

Sixty-gun salute to young Nigerian professionals for waking up to responsibilities. I gave up on them long ago as a crowd of spineless souls whose sole interest lay in worldly things that offered no future. And then this End-SARS bang.

They have added oxygen to my soul. I want to breath, I also want them to breath. I just have a feeling that the change which engulfed the atmosphere in 2015 is about to happen and may really have nothing to do with politicians even if some of them are stoking the fire from the undergrowth.

While I doff my hat,we should not hang the police for all the wickedness planted by colonial Britain. Nigeria is a fraud, I owe no apologies. Anyone who was expecting our cops to act as angels from heaven should have their head examined.

There is not doubt that we have criminals in the Nigeria Police Force. They are part of the Nigerian problem. We also have wonderful men and women who have done the country proud. For the sake of the good ones, we should not hand out a blanket condemnation.

The nascent Nigerian Revolutionaries should have a name. I call them the October Movement. They came at the right time. At 60, Nigeria is not better than Marcus Nwezeigwe the drunk.

This October Movement should push harder. We must hold our leaders responsible. The idea of singling out the President does not help. From the top to bottom, there are so many to hold accountable. What are local government chairmen doing with allocation? Why are some governors constructing roads and developing human capital while others are sponsoring killers and buying houses all over Planet Earth?

And the followers need real orientation. Some governors steal simply because some of us go to them with all sorts of demands- children’s school fees, house rent, medical bills and more.

There are directors who own 50 percent of the houses in a city. EFCC does not go after them while governors are held responsible. The Accountants- General and Auditors- General,governors and politicians come and go,these ones are like military barracks. They stay put.

I believe we have given the police enough warning. They will go home and think about the yellow card. I should be the one to condemn them because they shot one my cousins at Opebi, Lagos in 1988,on his 30th birthday.

One bad apple cannot spoil the whole bunch. This is the police of Chioma Ajunwa, our first Olympic gold medalist. This is the force of Sunday Bada, the first Nigerian world indoor Athletics champion. The police of Samuel Peter, first African world Heavyweight boxing champion.

James Usen, a Nigerian police officer, was once the Inspector General of Police of Grenada. I have not heard of a Nigerian Army, Air Force or Navy officer serving as Chief of Staff outside Africa.

Personally, I have come across wonderful officers and men of the force. Funsho Ajao Olarinoye, retired as Deputy commissioner of Police in December 2019. I met him when he was DPO, at Ijesha, Lagos, in 2001.

A life threatening issue took me to his office. I told him all that happened. He believed and found my account to be nothing but the truth. While I was talking he was working on me. The officer threw some questions and got exactly the answers without my knowing where he was going.

At the end, he turned out to be the younger brother of Dr. Steve Olarinoye a retired top shot at the Federal Ministry of Sports. Recently, I found out that Dr. Olarinoye and my elder brother attended Government Secondary School, Ilorin, although, at different times.

Still in Lagos, there is Akingbade Omololu. We have known since 2001. They call him pastor. He is a regular church goer. I met him as a constable. My car broke down. He helped me secure it and refused to collect a dime from me. Charles Mozie is a DCP in the East. A very decent Area Commander.

It is time to allow the police go and sin no more. Our nascent Revolutionaries should continue to struggle for a change. Fidel Castro came from a wealthy family. He was a lawyer. At 33, he became Prime Minister in 1959. He formed the July 26th Movement with his brother, Raul, and the Argentine, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevera. They kicked out Fulgencio Batista.

Chairman Mao Zedung was 26 in 1919 and an active member of the May 4th Movement. By October 1, 1949, that movement created a New China. Jawaharlal Nehru, a lawyer, began activism as a teenager. In 1949, Indians chose him as their first Prime Minister.

These men were educated. They were from solid backgrounds, yet they fought for Liberty. Patrick Henry made the famous remark : ‘Give me Liberty or give me Death’ during the American struggle in the 18th century. Among his audience were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, future US presidents.

Take it up from here, the October Movement. Chukwuemeka Ojukwu fought racism as an 11-year- old student. Shehu Shagari was a minister in his 20s. Pistol wielding Wole Soyinka stormed a radio station in his 30s. You guys can cause government to change the country. Kudos.

VANGUARD

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