How #EndSARS affects your Career

Did you lend your voice on the #EndSARS protest?

If you are a Nigerian, over the last few weeks the trending news across major local, national and international news is the #EndSARS protest. It is a mass action requesting that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police be banned completely in Nigeria.

Over the years this unit of the Nigerian Police force has turned itself into a league of people harassing and killing innocent Nigerians.

Personally, I have been harraased by SARS between Ughelli-Abraka Road. On that fateful morning, I had planned a road trip to Benin from Ughelli, but made plan to stop briefly by Abraka (Delta State University) where I was undergoing my final clearance as a fresh graduate.

My only crime was that I was with my laptop without proof of ownership (receipt). I was beaten and threatened with a gun just in case I tried to escape. Of course, I couldn’t say or do anything but just watched with fear in my heart how the whole episode would evolve.

After long search of all documents on my laptop and my phone, they asked me to pay them to release me. Unfortunately, I didn’t travel with any cash so I couldn’t give them anything. They however kept me for almost 30 minutes and released me.

The story of how I found my way to my destination is an entire different one, but this is just my personal experience of the SARS humiliation.

How much more the many stories across various cities in Nigeria, of the innocent lives that have been taken by SARS. This culminated in the anger of the Nigerian youth, who also have been discouraged about the events in the country for the past years.

It is fuelled strongly by a failed economy, the high rate of unemployment, the closure of higher institution due to strike by lecturers. Nigerian youth seems to be angry, so am I, so should you be.

You should be angry because they have been many announcement about the reforms of the Nigerian police but to no outcome. In 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019, Nigeria announced that SARS was disbanded only for the unit of police to still be seen on the streets of Nigeria harassing people.

This is where #EndSARS affects your career.

Something happened to my friend recently and coupled with the situation in Nigeria, it taught me a huge lesson I will like to share with you today.

Let’s call my friend, Joshua.

I visited Joshua on a weekend and discovered his light was fluctuating occasionally. When the wind blows, the light shakes temporary but doesn’t go off totally.

I said to Joshua, I think the wind affects the wire on the pole which is the cause of this shaking light.

Apparently, Joshua had observed this for some days and mentioned to me that he decided to manage it like that until when the PHCN guys who usually come around for their monthly routine check will come and get it fixed.

His response:
I don’t want to spend extra money calling any electrician to fix it. I’d rather MANAGE it until the NEPA guys come by month end. When they come to “cut” light, they’ll use that opportunity to tighten my wire. Then I won’t have to pay for it.

That sounds like wisdom right?

Some days after my stay, while managing the ‘shaking light’ and trying to pass time till the appointed day for PHCN guys, his laptop suddenly went off as affected by the light.

The light had caused damage to his laptop. The laptop is crucial to his work because his files and every other thing about his work largely depend on the laptop.

Now, it is costing him much more money to fix the laptop than it would cost him to call an electrician to get that wire fixed earlier on and for good.

I am sharing this story because the lesson applies to many of us, especially with the current happenings in our country, Nigeria.

The things happening are simply consequences of what we failed to do at the right thing, now it has caused us the death and injuries to young people like me.

Though i am pained but I am learning daily from life every day.

Nigeria for example, would have removed Fuel Subsidy a lot time ago and moved on with the short term pain and by now (COVID19 era) we would have long forgotten and taken care of our economy. But we CHOSE to Manage and so it is costing us much more today.

During Obasanjo’s tenure for example, there were recommendations on Customs Reform – strongly on the hardware of infrastructure, equipment and technology and so in 2015 the economic team came up with a proposed reform with Crown Agents of UK as the leader. This would have help curb corruption to the barest minimum in that sector.

But the reform failed because it was the short term feeding bottle of many politicians. Please read Reforming the Unreformable by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Now we are back to that conversation but it is costing us much more in 2020 what it would have, if implemented in 2005.

If you take time to look at your life and your career, you’ll realize that there are many things we try to manage because we want to save cost on the short term that would be largely dangerous on the long-term.

When we choose to manage what we can change immediately, we suffer more. Because tomorrow comes with the geometric percentage added to our everyday life.

We remember the youths who lost their lives at the #LekkiTollGate

My prayer at this time is that the families find the heart to bear the loss and that the decease do rest in peace.
And to you, I pray you and your family stay safe, we shall overcome together!

Keep Making Greatness Happen,

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