What #ENDSARS Means to me

 



I have always wondered why many people travel to Nigeria and they often have armed security escort. My friends often tease me that the day I enter Nigeria, the police will humble me very quick. This is simply because of the way I carry myself and the image it connotes. I have been removed from my beloved country for over 20 years so I will stand out. When I tell my parents I want to go to Nigeria with my friends during the “I Just Got Back” times or “Dutty December” a fear comes over them because even in the states I stay out very late and I am always out. They will simply tell ask me what you are going to do, then shut me down with let us go together.

                Earlier this year I read the chilling account of a very dear friend and how he broke down being kidnapped by police officers and detailed because he fit the profile of a scammer. My guy had 2 phones and he looked like a scammer. This was months before I was planning to even go. Reading the account, I started to think to myself and the same fear my parents have for me came over me. I always carry 2 phones which is a practice I have been doing for years now, I walk around like I own everything, lastly, I grew up in NY where we don’t take anything from anyone.

                End Sars is more than just a movement, it is more than just a fight for peace, it is a cry for help for the people. Imagine walking out of your house everyday hoping police officers doesn’t stop you because they want money. I have been pulled over in NY and I was able to somewhat talk myself out of situations. I have been pulled over in Austin Texas, and I thought I was done for. But I am here today writing saying being stopped by police officers in Nigeria is the true definition of life and death. I have seen numerous reports on social media outlets where these so-called officers just start firing into the crowd. A lot of people often tell me they want to go to Nigeria, and I will be first to tell them please don’t go. A police checkpoint in Nigeria is now a death sentence. The police force has become Judge, Jury, and Executioner. That way of life must be stopped.

                Don’t turn a blind eye to this, I would like to finally go back to Nigeria and not fear for my life. When I am out and about in the states my parents will often call me to see where I am or when I will be home. I don’t even want to start that phone tag game when I am in Nigeria because not picking up can mean so many horrible things.

 

-Wale