As Nigerians defy age-long police brutality and demand that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) be scrapped because, according to them, SARS became tool of oppression and not protection – Aisha Yesufu, became one of the faces of the brave protest in Nigeria.
#ENDSARS trends globally, from the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) in South Africa to the presidential candidate in the United States of America (USA), Kanye West – tweets resonates in support of Nigerian youth as they demand protect and reject oppression.
Amidst the protest, Victor Odiba of ShoeBox Photography – a warrior, judging from the exploits of his ancestors, was capturing the highlights of the moment.
When Bellanaija.com asked him: Did you know, in the moment, how powerful the image was going to be”?
He said: “I would say in that moment, what we all knew was that at any second the tear gas would be fired at us. Everyone was ready! I knew If I could capture our courage and fearlessness, that would definitely be something. But I didn’t know I got anything awe inspiring or powerful until I got home and reviewed the images. Even then, I knew “I” liked it and it resonated with me but I couldn’t have predicted how other people would respond to it”.
His own contribution to the protest is capturing its essence and detailing all the energy and strength invested in the protest for posterity.
His sole mission was to translate the emotion and energy he was feeling to the mind of whoever looked at the pictures and he did it as one of his pictures trend globally.
The photos of Aisha Yesufu exudes plenty messages:
National Solidarity devoid of Religious Sentiments
Bravery of Women, confirming they are not meant for the background only
Many Nigerians are tired of oppression, corruption and misrule
Fame activism has come to stay
This October’s protests against police brutality gained international attention and support at a scale never seen before.
Accusations of SARS officers robbing, attacking and even killing people go back years but a new wave of protest started at the beginning of October.
Additionally, Mr. Fulani Kwafaja who established SARS in 1984 said: “”Sars of today is not the same Sars I established in 1984”.
Mr. Kwafaja admitted the unit he created had turned into banditry.