By Bassey Ekaette
Nigerian youths on Thursday, 18 October 2020 launched a protest against an arm of the Nigeria Police Force, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has reportedly become machinery for intimidation and harassment, and has remained in the streets across the Nation since then.
The last 3 years have recorded pockets of careless killings of innocent youths in the hands of the said Agency which is an arm of the Nigeria Police Force.
The Chief Executive Officer of Space Vest, Habeeb Olorundare who is popularly known as Khalifah of Lagos, lend his voice during the protest and challenged the government to be more transparent in giving in to the demand of the majority and scrapping the outfit. Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday, 13 October 2020, the Khalifah of Lagos stated that the call for disbandment of SARS is a welcomed development and urges the police to carry out their duty with decency integrity and professionalism.
“Police officers are supposed to secure lives and properties, but with SARS, the reverse has been the case. This is why we flooded the streets this week demanding the complete shutdown of this particularly unruly unit that remains a sustained threat to our lives.
“Over the past year and a half, there have been multiple instances where the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force has kidnapped, robbed, and/or maimed citizens on trumped-up charges.
“A SARS officer could easily assume you are up to mischief when they see such apps on a phone, or chats with foreigners on your WhatsApp.
“As a fashion expert, I deal with a lot of local and international brands and we relate more on the mobile phone. SARS has made life difficult with the misconception that whoever dresses too classy, is a fraudster.
“Some of my partners and friends in diaspora have also been rallying around and gearing up for protests in their various locations with interests from London, Canada, New York to name a few.
The fight to protect our own lives from the hands of Police, who is supposed to take care of us has just begun. We will not stop at the #EndSARS, we ensure the complete orientation and rehabilitation of the police force entirely”, Khalifah of Lagos stated.
“To be safe, some of us have to delete our work and finance apps when we approach Police checkpoints,” he added.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad was a branch of the Nigeria Police Force under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID). The squad was created to deal with crimes associated with armed robbery, car snatching, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and crimes associated with firearms. It became a matter of public liability when the outfit ignored their primary obligation to harass and kill Nigerians with iPhones and dreadlocks.