University of Nottingham Students' Union ends SARS - Solidarity with our Nigerian students.
Content Warnings for: mentions of abuse including rape and murder.
Issues with SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) in Nigeria have been raised by human rights groups, on TV and across social media. And this also impacts our members. The Students’ Union stands strong against hate and abuse, especially, when it affects our students. The Students’ Union is aware that student groups are already planning action in response to the growing reports coming out of Nigeria. And, as always, we are here to support and amplify your voices.
To understand the issue of SARS in Nigeria, we must look to the roots and history of it. SARS was established in 1992 in Lagos. They were tasked with reducing the high rates of robbery and other serious crimes. When established, they took over these duties from the Nigerian police force, and in 2002 the task force took over these roles in every state. SARS had high responsibility and a lot of power – which they used in covert ways.
SARS officials wouldn’t wear anything that could affiliate themselves to SARS, or the government, this meant they would wear plainclothes and unmarked vehicles. This remained the case even when they carried guns. This started a long history of human rights abuse including acts such as; extortion, murder, kidnap, rape, unlawful arrests and detention. This continues today. Despite the gross human rights abuse, President Muhammadu Buhari refuses to bring the task force to an end.
Nottingham is thousands of miles away from Nigeria, but this doesn’t prevent us from recognising the effects that SARS has on our students here. We are an international campus and Nigerian students and students of Nigerian are part of our community. We work hard to ensure that our students are safe while studying at university, and we understand that the abuse in Nigeria will undoubtedly impact our students. During this time, we, your SU Officer Team, are working to support students who are impacted by the events in Nigeria. We’re checking in with affected student groups, speaking with the University Wellbeing Team, looking into the current extenuating circumstances policy and considering how any student who is affected by this can be supported.
In response you may want to hold a socially distanced protest, write a letter to your MP, or seek wellbeing advice during this time. The Students’ Union and Officers are here for you. Activists have been trying for years to effect change, but the government continuously failed to reform and effectively disband the taskforce. The level of abuse in Nigeria is horrific and we are privileged to be able to look inward on these issues. We must use our privilege to help. We stand in solidarity with all the Anti-SARS protestors in Nigeria, the UK and globally. Below you will find support from the Students’ Union, as well as, information from other organisations to support and educate our members at this time.
Sofia Thomas, Community Officer // Denis Lelin, Activities Officer // Becca Craven, Education Officer // Sam Hawkins, Liberation Officer // Emily Coleman, Welfare and Wellbeing Officer // Madeleine Fox, Union Development Officer // Josie Jessop, Sports Officer // Abdi Ahmed, Postgraduate Officer // Hera Aryubi, BME Officer // Kiitan Abel-Ajala, Women*’s Officer
The Nigerian Society are sharing a huge amount of educational and supportive resources on their social media channels. They are also holding a peaceful, COVID safe protest outside the Trent Building from 3-6pm on Sunday 25th October, details of which can be found on their social media channels.
This is a twitter page for volunteers dedicated to connecting you with resources and information for End SARS protests nationwide.
NIGERIA: TIME TO END IMPUNITY: TORTURE AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY SPECIAL ANTI-ROBBERY SQUAD (SARS) (Amnesty International) Our June 2020 report shows that SARS continue to commit human rights violations with total impunity despite promises of reform and accountability by the Federal Government.
Amnesty have set up this page on their website so that you can act by sending a letter to the Nigerian government to End impunity for police violence in Nigeria.
Our free, impartial service is completely independent from the University, and we’re here to help you find the support you need with; advice, wellbeing, your course, employment & finances.
This page from the University of Nottingham has numerous resources on mental health and your wellbeing, depending on the circumstances. If you are really struggling, consider reaching out to family or your GP.
Nightline is a non-judgemental, non-advisory, confidential and anonymous listening and information service, provided by students for students here at the University of Nottingham.
The University has an existing extenuating circumstances policy in place for all students to request an extension to their work as well as highlighting anything that may affect or has affected their work. The policy was also altered in the summer term considering COVID-19 and the effects on students. If you need any other support for your studies, speak to your personal tutor or module convenor.