The Next Wave: Vive la résistance!

OCTOBER 11, 2020

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On Friday 9th of October, #EndSARS was trending worldwide on Twitter with millions of impressions, and across other social media platforms. Deciding today’s topic was easy.

Nigerian youths have gone from the timelines of Twitter into the streets of cities and towns across the country, in the multitude of their thousands, and the
message is clear and somewhat uncompromising;
“No reforms, just end SARS!”

[READ: Complete TechCabal coverage on the SARS menace]

While TechCabal has covered the irregularities of this rogue police unit as far back as 2018, with the help of our data department; TC Insights, today’s story is peppered with data.
Data does not lie, so while we proceed to show you this picture of numbers and words, subscribe to
and catch up on
older editions of this newsletter.

The menace disproportionately affecting
Nigeria’s growing tech industry
.


While taking a stroll one night on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge in Lagos, West Africa’s largest city, Adegoke Olubusi was shot at by two SARS officers.

Olubusi is
the co-founder of
Helium Health; one of Nigeria’s innovative healthcare companies. Helium Health provides a suite of technologies to
healthcare organizations in Nigeria and other emerging markets to help them deliver services more efficiently.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is notorious for harassing its young people. It is a Nigerian Police Force unit under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, originally tasked with fighting crime.

Police officers profile young people, including those in the country’s burgeoning tech industry. Laptops, dreadlocks, premium smartphones and or tattoos are a major bait for this group that originally was intended to protect the youths but has fully morphed into what some foreign observers have described as a “terrorist
organisation”, and rightfully so.

In Olubusi’s case, the officers tried to get him into an unmarked van, as is their modus operandi.

“I was petrified, even confused by how intoxicated they were,” he narrated in his account. “I remember thinking about my mother’s reaction to finding my body lifeless on the streets of Lagos,” he added.

Olubisi’s story is similar to Yele Bademosi, another influential member of the
tech industry who is a VC and CEO at fintech startup, Bundle. Bademosi
was kidnapped and extorted by SARS officers while heading home in
October 2019.

Across Nigeria on the 9th of October, 2020, young people took
to the streets
from Lagos to Delta in the country’s oil-rich region…


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