Nigerians are crying out over police brutality meted out by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police Force.
And while the conversations about police reforms are ongoing, we take a look at a member of the force who is a cop by day, and a musician by night.
Yomi Sars, aka Gucci Mane Eko (Lagos Gucci Mane) is a 30 year-old singer and rapper who combines tackling crime with recording and releasing music. He’s a native of Lagos state, is popular in circles of the music industry.
He makes music from the streets and for the streets. A look through his growing discography sees him drawing inspiration from the Lagos mainland, and turning that into music. His delivery style is core street, where he freestyles in Yoruba, over heavy beat.
But he wasn’t always on the street. According to him, he was attracted to the streets at an early age, and left home to go find his path there.
“I was born with a silver spoon but I left the confort of my home to be on the Street just as if I knew my mum won’t stay on for long……I thank God who led my path on the street and make me a better person.”
Yomi Sars is popular amongst entertainers in the music industry. His position in the force, ensures that he attracts the friendship of many entertainers. One of his closest pals is Olamide, the indigenous rapper.
The duo have a strong bond, appearing at numerous concerts together and giving shout outs on social media. His other friendship circle include A-list artists such as Pasuma Wonder, Reminisce, Wizkid, Phyno, Davido and more.
His released records include ‘Japa’ (produced by Young Jonn), ‘Adoyoyo’, and ‘Gucci Mane Eko’.
Off the mic, Yomi is actively involved with combating crime. He is regularly involved in special missions. One of his mentors is Abba Kyari, an assistant police commissioner of Lagos State has been labelled ‘Nigeria’s Jack Bauer‘ due to his effort in bringing high-profile hoodlums and criminals to justice. Yomi works with Abba Kyari, and sometimes share insights into the workings of the police.
“Yomi is a great guy,” says a police officer, who refused to be named for this post. “He is a friend of everyone, and we can all rely on him. That’s why he is popular to everyone, and he has a good heart.”
Once during an operation to catch kidnappers in Delta state, a cop was killed during the ensuing shoot-out. Yomi too to Instagram to reflect upon it. “We lost a brave officer yesterday was shot by a deadly kidnapper in delta state…& was buried today….Inspr Rasheed Sanusi may ur soul rest in peace….If I die today I die a hero cos my 21 gun salute must complete,” he said.
Being a musician and a cop means he is a prime target for criticism. He traverses both worlds, drawing the ire of the public on social media who constantly question his dedication to the job.
He handles the criticism well, acting as a de factor public relations executive for the force. Once he went on a campaign to highlight Police officers who are distinguished in other fields. They include Chioma Ajunwa, Chuck Norris, Samuel Peters, and more.
As the growing voices of Nigeria’s youth against the brutality of SARS operatives continue to rise, Yomi addressed the issue on Instagram. You can find the post below.
“The #EndSARS is no longer one that any responsible Citizen minded Police officer can ignore, not necessarily giving credence to some of the gory yet vivid narrations but Policing is to maintain the public peace in whatever guise the unrest may come.
From Wuang, Dallas, Frankfurt, Paris, London and even Conakry Citizens have at some point in time, say recently protested against Police brutality.
It comes with the job, it is a sad truth. It’s same as the Doctor that leaves a spatula inside a patient or watches a patient die because the family couldn’t make cash deposit for treatment, it’s like the school Proprietors that wouldn’t allow the most brilliant child in the school write exams because the parents can’t afford to pay the fees, the Lawyer that breathes well knowing an innocent person have gone to jail only because legal fees couldn’t be paid . All these hinge on the individual’s world view, personal background and moral check list.
Definitely some Officers are on the extreme in the line of duty, some are on the job for personal gratification but we must commend the larger percentage who are worthy Ambassadors of the Police Force.
Those that daily defy the lack of basic needs like accommodation, uniform and other kits, up to date technology and equipments, no life insurance or worthy compensation for family and or loved ones in the case of death in the line of duty and with the little they’re given, combat violent crimes, conduct investigations, track down cunning criminals and do all they can to maintain law and order. I say again, a greater number of Officers of the Nigeria Police Force are Heroes without capes.
My simple suggestion in lending my voice to the #EndSARS is this; let us together raise the standard of our society, our collective existence as a people, for if we’re yet to realize every singular facet of the society reflects the whole, as no entity can forever stand aloof.
Justice is a system, a societal measure and as the Yorubas will say “Gba fun Muri ni gba fun Gbaja”. This of course shouldn’t stop the Police from looking into the various allegations levelled against the body, and the need to investigate and weed out the wolves amongst us.”