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Software practitioners support #EndSARS protest, claim members most assaulted

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Software practitioners have aligned with the ongoing protest by Nigerians, especially the youths for an end to the operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Speaking under the aegis of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), the body said the #EndSARS protests, should be seen not only as a call to the end of the notorious SARS unit, but also an opportunity to work with the Nigeria Police Force on much-needed reforms.

“This will reorient, incentivise and discipline the Force in its function as a protector of its people, carrying out its duties with wisdom and dignity; a force that our young people will not despise or look upon with trepidation but honour and respect,” the body said.

ISPON, in a statement by its Administrative Secretary, Paul Uzoechina, said it will work with the government and the Nigeria Police to better understand their challenges in effective policing in the digital age, and together, #SayYestoCoders, are the nation’s hope for a 21st century technology-driven economy.

ISPON said it has been concerned by the actions of SARS operatives, especially as the “demographic targeted make up the largest segment of our membership in the workforce of our member companies, as well as the largest segment of our consumer base.
The devices that are used to profile the youth as fraudsters are devices that form the basic work tools of our industry. We find it baffling and unconscionable that the young coders and creatives we should be celebrating and encouraging are the ones that are being hounded and brutalised.”

The software body noted that all over the world, it is recognized that development in the 21st century is disproportionately influenced by the power of information and communication technology (ICT).

According to the practitioners, the world’s greatest and most powerful countries are today, not only industrialised, but more importantly, they are leaders in the development, use and commercialisation of technology.

ISPON stressed that while the SARS operatives may see technology in terms of communications and devices like handsets, tablets and computers, “the reality is that it is the software that runs on these equipment that are the ‘brainboxes’ controlling and delivering how the value that we derive from them. Nigeria cannot become a player in the global economy unless it accelerates the growth of the human capital and propagation of software adoption and use exponentially.”


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