Once again the excesses of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS unit of the Nigerian Police Force, have been in the national spotlight.
In the last couple of days, the hashtag #EndSARS have been trending. With celebrities such as Wizkid, Don Jazzy and Olamide condemning the SARS unit for extortion and police brutality, the online agitation quickly went viral with many calling for either a scrapping or reforming of the unit.
On Sunday, due to the building Twitter movement, the IGP released a statement announcing the banning “FSARS other police tactical squads from routine patrols.”
IGP BANS FSARS, OTHER POLICE TACTICAL SQUADS FROM ROUTINE PATROLS
– As Police Arrest 2 FSARS Operatives, 1 Civilian Accomplice in Lagos State
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) October 4, 2020
Later in the day, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo expressed his anger at the atrocities committed by operatives of the police unit.
The Vice President, who spoke to State House Reporters during an interaction at his Abuja residence on Sunday, also hailed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, for banning routine patrol of the FSARS and other tactical squads of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
“I am very concerned, in fact, very angry about what I see, happening to young men and women who are arrested, in some cases maimed or killed by men of the police force,” he said.
Despite the announcement of the IGP, Nigerians are not optimistic that the latest statement will lead to credible change.
This is not the first time, the authorities or the Federal Government have promised to reform SARS. There have been pledges to do so in 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Do you feel that this time around SARS will be truly reformed or it will still be business as usual?