tyro Profile picture
14 Oct, 11 tweets, 2 min read
So how do you actually end SARS? This a LOT harder than people think and will involve an incredible amount of work. But these protests have presented an opportunity to get it done that is better than previous opportunities
Again, SARS is the textbook definition of a rogue unit. It ought to be painfully clear to anyone watching this drama that the Inspector General of Police has zero control over them. He doesn’t even know how many of his men are in SARS
Not long after the IG announced he was ‘replacing’ SARS with the brand new never before seen SWAT, internet archaeologists dug up these ImageImage
The reason he’s doing this is because he’s trying to send a signal to the SARS men he has no control over that they can change everything without changing anything
So what are the options? I can think of 2 and neither of them is palatable at all.
Option 1 - The IG sets up a handpicked team of officers he trusts to physically disarm SARS. Offer them an olive branch that anyone who voluntarily leaves the unit will not lose his job. But if they don’t, force will be used and prosecution will follow
The problems with this are obvious. It will cost him an incredible amount of goodwill (which he may not have but he’s leaving next year anyway). The spectre of police having a shootout with police is better than imagined than seen
Option 2 - Sai Baba sends in the Army to physically disband SARS. Give a short time period for them to disband and if they don’t, the Army uses force to do it. Same problems as Option 1 - Army shooting at Police is - to put it mildly - not very nice
Maybe there are other options and I hope there are. But it’s clear to me these guys have no intention of going anywhere.

This is what happens when you leave a problem to fester for so long. Eventually things will have to come to a head.
Finally, there’s one more option.

Pretend to solve the problem. Things quieten down a bit. Then in 6 months time, SARS kill someone again with impunity and then we do this all over again
P.S Forgot to mention - there is of course an incredible amount of money at stake. All those laptops they steal, the dollars and Bitcoin they collect and the naira they extort comes to a lot. Apparently there’s a calculation that puts SARS monthly loot at ~$7m

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More from @DoubleEph

14 Oct
By the way this option has a precedent. When Tafa Balogun became IG, he set up a handpicked team that went around raiding other police checkpoints (often with cameras). They would search the pockets of the police officers there and if they found money, arrest them
It was quite fun and it did work for a while. Look, I know Tafa Balogun eventually went to prison for stealing money meant for police salaries and pensions but we are discussing options here so let’s focus please
This leads me to a funny story I may have shared before but is worth sharing again. During this period I was in University in Nigeria. One way the police reacted to Tafa’s regime was to constantly keep their bribes in a can or box somewhere away from them. Never in their pockets
Read 11 tweets
12 Oct

Infact maybe the hashtag should change to #EndSARS+ It has to end in addition to whatever else is demanded for 2 clear reasons
First of all, if you are a sadist and want to design a police unit that is unaccountable and operates with impunity, you will struggle to come up with anything worse than SARS.
First one - count the number of testimonies of people’s encounters with SARS and see how many times people say they were not even sure if it was Police or Armed Robbers. They wear ripped jeans and have NO name badges or numbers. But this isn’t even the worst part
Read 8 tweets
11 Oct
So there’s now something of a challenge with #EndSARS. I’m a bit conflicted because, strictly speaking, disbanding and redeploying the SARS men is the only thing can *technically* be done
This is because the SARS guys are regular police officers who get posted to the SARS unit (often after paying bribes to get deployed there). No one joins SARS directly. And you can’t fire all police officers who are in SARS. Tricky
But this doesn’t mean disbanding is of no effect. It has been centuries since Thucydides gave us the insight that when in a group, humans often behave more discreditably than they would ordinarily do as individuals
Read 5 tweets
26 Sep
2 white dudes with nothing but an interesting idea set out for Nigeria. After meeting with frustration and only a commissioner they decided to try out Ghana where they had a better reception up to VP level.

I'm still upset and I can't let this matter go. I am sorry
Do you know the number of actual investments that started off in Nigeria and ended up in Ghana simply because Ghanaians are nicer and friendlier people with a better business environment? Let me give you one - Movenpick Hotel Accra
Read 13 tweets
24 Sep
LoL...as expected this thing has now descended into bogeyman-ism
Let’s not get carried away here. There is a way to meet people in high places in places like Nigeria and Ghana. It is annoying, unfair but it ‘works’ and everyone plays the game.
What is unusual, and to me remarkable, is that this guy had none of the requirements and got past it. You’ll say it’s because he’s white but you’ll also say the same thing if he was *anything* other than a local. Diaspora, black foreigner etc
Read 7 tweets
23 Sep
I really enjoy this kind of logic. Basically, there can be no disproportionate impact where everyone is black. As Nigerians like to say - sense won't kill you Image
Come closer let me whisper something - regardless of how the govt responded (or not), the corona outcome has been pretty much the same across sub-saharan Africa. Pick any random SSA country and look at their stats. Pretty much the same
And it’s not a stat problem either. There is no way to hide people dying in large numbers. It simply hasn’t happened. The answer is obviously elsewhere but the Afreekah People already have it
Read 4 tweets

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