Nigerian filmmaker Charles Novia, has narrated a chilling story of his encounter with SARS officers and how young Nigerians are in danger.
He also stated that he feels the way Nigerians look down on and speak rudely to law enforcement officers is wrong.
This arose on the backdrop of the killing of Kolade Johnson, a Nigerian man who was shot by officers of the police force while he was watching a football match on Sunday.
Following the incident, a lot of celebrities have spoken out on the issue including Falz, Simi and Ruggedman.
Charles Novia took to his Twitter to narrate how he was stopped at a Police checkpoint and he was questioned and let go simply because he had a few white hairs.
Asking the officer who their targets were, the officer, he said, replied that all young people especially those driving flashy cars were the targets.
He stated that the officer said that this was the only criteria, not past records, or any sort of logical reasoning.
“One morning in January 2018, when I was still resident in Abuja in my four year hiatus in the city, I drove out of my house in Guzape, and as I drove past the NNPC fuel station, a police patrol team of men with menacing looks on their faces waved me to stop on the road.
“A Policeman walked up to me, while his colleagues stood a few meters away with guns in their hands.
“One of the things we Nigerians assume and do wrongly most times is to look down on the Policemen when they stop motorists. We don’t hide the disdain on our faces most times when we see them and sometimes we talk down on them.
“I have always believed this is wrong. I may not like the way the Police operate at times but I don’t get rude to any of them when I see them at checkpoints. The man with a gun in his hand is to be respected for those few moments he has that gun undecided on your face.
“So, when I see any Nigerian Policeman at any checkpoint, I greet them warmly. It doesn’t matter if the person holding the gun might have murdered someone. That gun in his hands is a weapon of the State, a source of his power and an authority for him to kill and think later.
“‘Good morning, Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’ I hailed at the stern-looking man with my beaming smile as he glanced through my window, his eyes searching the car.
“‘Good morning, Sir’ he replied and stared at me for a few seconds. ‘How is work, Officer?’ I continued with the same politeness. ‘Work is hard, Sir. Oga, you seem like a good man. Drive on. I can see you have some white hairs. you are not the kind of person we are looking for.’
“I was curious about how the few white hairs on my head could give me a free pass from this guy and I asked, still with a smile and my eyes on the gun he had…just in case; ‘Officer, what kind of ‘person’ are you looking for, if I may ask?’
“He looked at me and a wry smile flashed on his lips. ‘Young Men. Those ones who are young and drive flashy cars or any young man at all. They are number one suspects. They are criminals. They are Yahoo Boys. Any young man is a suspect.’
“I looked at the SARS insignia on his vest and sighed. ‘Have a nice day, Officer’ I said. He waved and I drove off with a burden on my mind.”
One morning in January 2018, when I was still resident in Abuja in my four year hiatus in the city, I drove out of my house in Guzape, and as I drove past the NNPC fuel station, a police patrol team of men with menacing looks on their faces waved me to stop on the road.
— charles novia (@charlesnovia) April 2, 2019
So..err…guys, moral of the story? Don’t drive cars