Nigerian tech twitter outraged by new SARS assault

Yesterday, Toni Astro, a young software developer in Lagos, shared a twitter thread about his unfortunate, undeserved experience with the Nigeria Police. 

View full thread.

Nigeria’s Police department, special anti-robbery squad (SARS) has long been a pain – brute, oppressive, authorized gang of thieves – to the young, hardworking tech professionals in the country, especially the young men (and women) who have to commute with laptops, phones and other smart devices. 

The “SARS men” pick up anyone who looks a certain way, asks to search their laptops and phones, sometimes plant evidence, and then assault and extort them for all they have. 

It’s like being kidnapped in broad daylight and paying your own ransom while others watch. 

The hashtag #EndSARS started in 2018 by Segun Awosanya @segalink to tackle the problem. Some offline progress has been made but obviously not enough

Toni’s story sparked outrage, and now industry leaders like Bosun Tijani, Jason Njoku, Iyin Aboyeji, Mark Essien, Big Chief Asemota and others, have decided it’s time for a “bias towards action.”

Conversations and solution suggestions you should definitely check out:

Enough is enough when it comes to Nigeria demoralizing its youth.

The country is already experiencing a brain drain, with most senior software developers and other professionals choosing to leave the country, get a second citizenship, or seek asylum elsewhere as soon as possible. As of March this year, Nigeria had more pending refugee protection claims in Canada than any other country in the world.

Chart source: The Atlas.

What will happen when all our young talent succeed in relocating? Who will build up the failing economy and the next generation of Nigeria? 

What can we do to make real change?

PS: Happy Independence Day in advance. Tomorrow, Nigeria turns 59.


Feature Photo by ev on Unsplash.

About the author
Week of Saturdays answers questions and disseminates new ways of working as technology overtakes culture and 9-5 jobs become a trend of the past. We advocate for flexible working schedules, freelancing, remote working and bold transitions between careers.

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