By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Authorities in Nigeria have been running up and down with the protestors for the better part of this weekend as the population protested rampant Police brutality that has been carried out by a special Police Unit in the Nigerian Police Force called the “Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).”
The protests against SARS were sparked by a video of a man allegedly being killed by Police and they have spread around the entire country and to other countries like the UK and Canada. On social media, the hashtag #EndSARS has been trending worldwide.
Due to this, Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari has issued a directive to have the squad dissolved with immediate effect.
“PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE: The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force has been dissolved WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT. The Inspector General of Police will communicate further developments in this regard,” the Office of the Nigerian President tweeted Sunday evening.
The BBC reports that “all the officers in the SARS squad – widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture and murder – are to be redeployed, a new arrangement to replace the squad is being worked on,” according to the Presidency.
Nigeria’s chief of Police said a team of investigators, including civil society organisations and human rights bodies, would be set up to investigate alleged abuses by SARS.
Nigerian celebrities like musicians Davido, Wizkid, Banky W, and international football stars like Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand, among others have voiced their concern about the violence exhibited by the Nigerian Police as they tried to crack down on protests.