Ycee (Oludemilade Martin Alejo), a popular rapper has expressed that Nigerians have a culture of profiling and it is not in good light. One of the foremost issues raised during the #EndSARS protests was the undue profiling of young citizens by law enforcement agencies especially by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Dreadlocks, ragged jeans, iPhones and laptops with personal cars were generalised to be traits exhibited by internet fraudsters and other criminal elements. Video skits dramatised the deadly effects of this habit and showed how looking fresh was not a crime.
Through his Twitter handle, Ycee wrote, “Nigeria has a deep[ly] rooted profiling problem.”
This tweet had over 2,000 retweets and was retweeted by Kiki Mordi, the investigative reporter that revealed the Sex for Grades Scandal in Nigerian universities. One person replying to the original tweet wrote, “It plugs down to our religious and cultural institutions. Many Nigerians are socialised to judge and classify people based on physical looks, attire, accoutrements and even the type of phone you use!”
During the protests, it was a widespread idea among the older citizenry that those protesting were yahoo boys and parents must discourage their wards from joining in the protests. This was followed by the outrage against the National Broadcasting Commission who reportedly censored news relating to #EndSARS.
Other young Nigerians are worried that the inaction of the Federal and State Governments to prosecute those alleged of police brutality would mean that a stronger offensive will be staged by the Police and its unit against them.