Just few days after a popular blogger known as Wakabobo was reportedly whisked away by soldiers for posting accounts and pictures of two soldiers fighting in the streets, another blogger in Lagos has been roughed up and beaten by security operatives for no justifiable reason other than he’s young, look flashy and owns a mobile phone.
Recently it has become a convention for Nigeria police to tag any young man a suspect if you own an expensive mobile phone, keep beards and have wear dreadlocks. If you fit into this description, then you’re likely to be pulled from your taxi or car and have your mobile phone or laptop searched without warrant.
Here’s the self-written account of a young blogger and TV Host , Anthony Abraham narrating his own share in the hands of Nigeria’s Special Anti Anti-Robbery Squad otherwise known as SARS.
I don’t know what i did to deserve the kind of beating i receieved from SARS officials today.
I was on a bike going to Alagbole from Berger when they stopped me and asked me to come down from the bike which i did. Immediately, they told me to enter their van and i asked them why and that was it, rain of slaps landed on my face. They bundled me and threw me inside the siena van. Inside the van, they started beating me, i tried to block the slaps but one of them held my hand so that my face will be open to receive the slaps. They beat me as if i was a criminal before asking me what i do for a living. I told them that i am a blogger and also an actor/entertainer.
The beating continued again. Seriously, i was scared for my life, i began to doubt if they were truely SARS officials or they are kidnappers or ritualists. A lot of thoughts were running through my mind. By now we were approaching Ojodu going towards ogba. After all the beating, one of them then searched my phone and saw truely that i was a blogger, he saw my blog and also saw my skit videos this was after beating me o. He searched my pocket and saw some money. One of them said i should come down but the other one said i should bring the money on me, i refused and he then slapped me again and again and then again. I told them i wanted to use the money and he said he saw another one thousand naira in my pocket while searching me. I told him that was my T-fare. He said that he will take me to the station that why am i wearing a ripped jeans. Still, I refused to give him the money before they pushed me out of the vehicle after one of them said that i am a blogger that they should let me go before i start another #ENDSARS campaign. They also forced me to apologise to them for making them think i was a yahoo boy which i did. I still cant believe that this happened to me in my own country.
We are no longer safe in this country.
Those who are supposed to protect us are actually killing us.
We need to #ENDSARS with immediate effect because we really cant see the effect of SARS in our society. SARS has done more harm than good.
This is a true life story and it was not sugarcoated. It happened to me yesterday.