By Francis Efe – Warri
Hundreds of ENDSARS protesters on Wednesday, crippled activities in major roads of Warri and Effurun in Delta state as they protest against the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), as well as the newly announced Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit.
The youths kicked off the peaceful march at about 8 am from the popular Delta Mall in Effurun Roundabout, walked through the Effurun-Warri Sapele Road, stopping at Airport, Jakpa, Enerhen and Deco Junctions, as well as marching on to Estate Roundabout, all in Warri South and Uvwie council areas.
The procession caused heavy traffic across the twin cities.
They also called for an end to the newly set up SWAT, which they described as just as another name for the disbanded SARS.
The protesters bore placards with inscriptions such as “End Police Brutality,” Stop Killing Us,” End SWAT, End SARS,” “We said EndSARS, not change them,” I am a filmmaker, I am not a fraudster. Stop harassing me,” among others.
Security operatives were also spotted monitoring the exercise.
An officer, reported to have addressed the crowd, urged them to maintain peace as they go about the protest, assuring them that policemen have been deployed to give them security.
Speaking to Vanguard, one of the protesters, Igho Tietie, said Nigerians are not satisfied with the disbandment of SARS and establishment of SWAT, hence the continuous protest.
He said “we don’t want SARS or SWAT. What is the difference? What we want is a total overhaul of the Police. We are asking for an end to Police brutality. The disbanded officers should undergo psychological treatment.
“We are also asking the Federal Government to review the salaries of these officers to what their counterparts across the world earn”.
Ask if they do not have confidence in the statements and assurances by the Police hierarchy in regard to curbing the excesses of its men, the protester said “we don’t.
“They have no regard for human lives, they have no regard for constituted authority, the laws that brought them into work and protect lives, Nigerian lives. They are not upholding that law. Instead, we are like sheep for the slaughter. Enough of that!”