The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim has ordered the immediate reorganisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the country. This is coming at the heels of nationwide #EndSARS protests over alleged unprofessional conducts of policemen attached to SARS.
The force Monday afternoon through a release, reacted to agitations of Nigerians who have kept vigils on the Social Media since the weekend.
The press release reads in part: “The Nigeria Police Force has observed the recent trends of event in the Social Media on the #ENDSARSNOW and the controversy being generated by the innuendos from the allegations and other misconceptions as it concerns the operational roles and activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a detachment of the Nigeria Police Force.”
The force also noted that the detachment has been up and doing in seeing to the end of some heinous crimes in the society.
The release reads further that, “Undoubtedly, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have been doing very well in fighting violent crimes such as Armed Robbery, Kidnappings and Cattle Rustling in the country in recent time and this has resulted in drastic reduction in incidents of the mentioned violent crimes nationwide.”
“Meanwhile the IGP has however ordered the immediate reorganisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad nationwide and an instant investigation into all the allegations, complaints and infractions levied against personnel of SARS across the country by the IGP X-Squad of the Force.”
The social media especially twitter was occupied at the weekend with over 100,000 twits that went viral with the hashtag #EndSARS.
Meanwhile, the Force earlier on Monday morning via its twitter handle, @PoliceNG responded to the agitations in a twit.
The Twit reads: “If you have contact with SARS personnel and u’ve any complaints about their actions or inactions, u’re at liberty to report their conducts to various platforms provided by the NPF to deal with unprofessional conduct of members of the force rather than call for end SARS. 08057000001.”
Several twits at the weekend alleged high handedness of the police operatives which include forceful arrests, inhuman treatments and manhandling of persons suspected by the operatives.
One concerned Nigerian and stateman saddened about the development is the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. The politician addressed the issue via his Twitter handle Monday afternoon.
“I spent last night reading the stories on this #EndSARS hashtag. I am deeply saddened and will do everything I can to help.” The twit which generated 490 retweets within 33 minutes seems to have provided hope for some helpless Nigerians who have kept vigils on twitter to see any respite from the authorities.
Adding its voice to the agitations, Amnesty International, Nigeria has advised the Nigerian government to look into all allegations brought against the police.
From its Twitter handle, @Amnesty Int. Nigeria, the organisation twitted that, “With the Nigerian government’s previous attempts at stampeding out torture proving completely ineffective, it is time for the authorities to ensure that officers responsible for such human rights violations are finally held accountable.”
A social media influencer with over 31,000 Twitter followers, Ayo Sogunro also twitted that, “A young man with a laptop is a fraudster. A person walking home at night is a thief. A Twitter agitator is an armed robber. This is exactly how the Nigerian police proudly reaches erroneous conclusions that result in much injustice #EndSARS. The twit has also attracted 1,493 retweets and 412 likes in 9hours.
Another social media influencer, Japheth Omojuwa in one of his tweets that generated 3,770 retweets, 1,852 likes and 78 comments in 28 hours posted that, “You need not have experienced the menace called SARS to call for #EndSARS, you have friends and relatives. Certainly not all your folks live inside Aso Rock. I don’t support reforms here, it should be deleted, trashed emptied too.”
It is now apparent Nigerians have mastered the art of engaging the social media to push for reforms in the system and many have been waiting on the government to react to such agitations.
Some Nigerians are also happy that the IGP has wadded into the situation with steps to reform SARS for the good of all Nigerians.