SARS: Special Anti Robbery Squad may have become a menace to the good citizens of Nigeria.
The campaign to end SARS mirrors a recurring problem in Nigeria’s economy i.e. failed or failing institutions. The inability of a created unit or institution to carry out its fundamental duties due to lack of clear-cut objectives, lack of unqualified personnel amongst other factors .
The SARS was formed as a specialized unit of the police force that deals with armed robbery, kidnapping, cattle rustling , car snatching and any crime involving the use of firearms. It enlists policemen who are general officers and have been in the force for a minimum of five years and have prerequisite experience .
The Yaba incident which brought about the campaign to dismantle the SARS was fueled by a video recording which surfaced online a couple of weeks ago , capturing how members of the supposed elite squad harassed and shot a man who had no defense .
This has attracted global attention and has drawn responses from the Senate, the Presidency and the U.N.
Other recordings of SARS victimization of citizens have since surfaced online which as at the time of writing , I can neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of these videos.
Although, SARS is being put under scrutiny over recent happening, this act of savagery isn’t isolated to the police alone, other uniformed men have turned to inflicting serious injuries on erring citizens.
Some of these men have become menace to the society which they swore to protect, integrity and fairness is becoming more and more a rare trait .
Policemen drive their vehicles so carelessly, with loud sirens even when in no pursuits of criminals while forcing commuters out of the road, threaten citizens with guns even when unwarranted and on other occasions, beat suspects to death.
Youths around the country have started to stage protests against this menace in the form of police uniforms which has gained some traction and will continue in the new year.
An online petition has been written against this inhumane act and can be signed electronically via this link:
Reforms are needed, not just in the police force but in all the security institutions which will emphasize and enforce humane methods of dealing with crime suspects and proper interaction with the general public.
Written by Temitope Shomuyiwa