SARS! They very name itself precipitates a kind of weird uneasiness in you. Ironic because in actual fact they are meant to be an elite, crack unit of the Nigerian Police trained specifically to contain the scourge of Armed Robbery, kidnapping & Hostage scenarios.
But instead they are the most hated members of society by far. No thanks to their negative excesses and unprofessional manner of operation that has left many young Men dead Nationwide under the guise of going after Yahoo boys (internet fraudsters).
Harrasments, extortion, physical and sexual Assault are the order of the day when SARS are brought to the front burner and the goverment who created them have turned deaf ears to this scourge and has left the people to thier fate.
The recent death of Tiamiyu Kazeem a.k.a Kaka in sagamu ogun state was one death too many. A promising local Football star pointlessly killed under the most ridiculous of circumstances.
But how is it that things got this bad? Well we can say it started with the explosion of Yahoo Yahoo (cyber fraud) in the last 15 years. As unemployment and poverty drove youths to resort to fast means to make a quick buck, The Bad eggs in the police saw them as a ready cash cow..People who they can intimidate or harass with arrest & prosecution so they can part with a portion of thier loot to gain their freedom .
The concept is easy …they simply follow some stereotypic traits to catch the boys i.e any sign of Elaborate hairdo’s like dreadlocks, plaited hair, tatoos, Flashy dressing ..then possesion of iPhones and movement in group’s around office hours of 11am -3pm believing that only jobless non-office working youths would be seen moving around at that time.
On Arrest they ask for access to phones ostensibly looking for what they see as incriminating evidence like western Union control numbers, Foreign telephone numbers & texts.
Whether or not a valid identification can be produced these officers detain any youth male or female if they are caught under any of the above stated incriminating bracket.
Resistance to arrest leads to grace consequences..victims are beaten in full glare of the public and in some extreme occasions shot dead.
Last year the conservative estimate by Nairaland says 9 youths were killed in Lagos alone by SARS operatives..including Biliki who was a pregnant lady last August. Riots broke out in Sagamu following the death of Tiamiyu last weekend leading to loss of more lives & destruction of property.. it just seems like there is no end in sight.
How long will the Inspector General of police sit back and watch the calculated and wanton acts of felony by SARS on Nigerians continue? The time to end SARS and rid our polity of this cancer is long overdue..No responsible nation with a conscience can continue to let innocent blood spill & expect growth in anyway in the Larger sphere of Nationhood..the time to #ENDSARS is now!