Using the hashtag, #EndSARS, Nigerians, throughout the weekend, took to Twitter, Facebook, among other social media platforms to compel the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to scrap Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police (SARS).
In various tweets and posts, Nigerians gave instances of extra-judicial killings, torture, wanton arrests for bribes, extortion, kidnapping, harassment, disregard for human lives and other menacing conducts by men of the SARS.
From one tweet or post to the other, Nigerians bemoaned that the police unit created to protect the people had instead become a danger to the society, torturing its victims with impunity.
Khalid OOU tweeting @iamdharyor decried “endless slapping like a compulsory human recipe” as characteristic of SARS in its treatment of Nigerians.
In Portharcourt, CalyRay, @Ckrisons101, lamented that the sight of men of SARS comes with fear. “It has become a crime to look good and move around the streets of Portharcourt with an imminent fear of the same police force that is supposed to protect you,” he tweeted.
Another Nigerian, Arthur, with the twitter handle @IPellegri, simply made a direct call on the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to scrap SARS. “@ProfOsinbajo help us #EndSARS they are killing our youths… our future is at stake in the hands of those you ask to protect us,” Arthur said.
Similarly, Kelechi Emmanuel, @kelechizoe said he received a barrage of slaps from SARS officials because he had an international number on his contact list when his phone was checked.
“I was given some dirty slaps because the SARS saw an International Number on my contact list…. #EndSars” Kelechi tweeted.
Reacting to the campaign to end SARS, Force Public Relations Officer Jimoh Moshood, in an interview with TheCable on Sunday, said SARS had lived up to its duty of curbing violent crimes and condemned calls for its proscription.
“As we speak, SARS is doing fantastically well across the country in reducing incidents of robbery to the barest minimum… they are doing very, very well,” Moshood said.
“There has not been any specific violation of human rights against any SARS personnel. So anybody that is spreading such a rumour is not doing the nation any good.
“SARS has no excesses and when there is any, we do investigate.
“The call for SARS to be scrapped should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians. Anybody calling for their proscription is not doing the nation any good and such people should be suspected as having something to hide.”
Moshood urged Nigerians with complaints against any police officer – “whether SARS or any other personnel” – to channel their complaints through established channels.
“Accessibility (to the police in cases of complaints) is very possible.
“We do not take any infraction or violation of human
right of any Nigerian likely. You know that so many police officers
have been dismissed and even charged to court.”
“So, Nigerians should not give in to insinuations from people that just
come to the social media and start spreading falsehood. Such people
spreading such information may likely be armed robbers
“There is laid down rules for police procedures and any police
officer that go beyond boundary to do something outrageous which is
against the law is apprehended.”