The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police, has been ‘dissolved’ following the many protests going on around the country and beyond, against police brutality and extortion in Nigeria. This took immediate effect on Sunday, according to a police statement.
The protest, which became more serious in recent days, after a viral video showing members of the controversial police unit known as SARS, brutally shooting a man in Delta State has become a globally trending issue on various social media platforms and T.V channel.
Using the hashtag #EndSARS, millions of Nigerian youths share their experiences pointing out to the unlawful detention, kidnapping, torture, extortion, robbery, and brutal killings in the hands of the SARS officers. Celebrities both home and abroad have also joined in the protest, with some physically leading the Nigerian youths flashing different placards with the #EndSARS hashtag on the streets, while some have continued to show their support online in a bid to make their voices heart.
Music stars like Davido, Runtown, Falz, Tiwa Savage, and many other showed solidarity standing against the violent acts of these SARS group. On the international scene, celebrities like Quavo, Kanye West, Tammy Abraham, Mesut Ozil, Anthony Rudiger, Big Sean, Trey Songz, John Boyega, and many more, have all reach out to support the ongoing movement through social media.
While the protest is still on and peaceful in various states of the country, in some other areas, it has become a bloody battle between the police force and the protesters with fatal gunshots, from different angles in the air by the policemen. In Abuja, during the protest, Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters with at least one protester and one police officer killed in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest.
Protesters have also taken to social media to share their experiences of harassment and attack over their hairstyle, dress modes, or possession of technological gadgets.
Iyinuoluwa Aboyeji, one of the leaders of tech scene expressing his discontent wrote on Twitter, “What exactly is our crime? Having a decent job? Building things on the internet in our own country? Earning the country millions of dollars in foreign exchange?”
Although this unit has been dissolved, Nigerian youths continue to protest to totally eradicate any form of police brutality in the country, and especially on youths. Protests are currently ongoing and now, it feels like their voices have been heard and more changes are likely to be made.