Special Anti-Robbery Squad is a crime-fighting unit of the Nigerian police force. As we all know, they are mostly associated with fighting crimes like armed robbery, car snatching, kidnapping, crimes associated with firearms.
These are the work which they are trained to do, but these days, one can see them harassing young men, breaking into homes, killing and arresting young boys, all in the name of ‘YAHOO BOYS’. SARS are heavily armed but do not wear the Nigerian police uniform or badge, one can say the act on their own will.
We have had several cases of young boys being beaten or arrested for refusing to hand over their smartphones to a SARS officer. There are young men out there who work and earn a lot, but they are harassed for driving flashy cars or having a costly smartphone with them.
SARS have turned rogue, they no longer do the work they are trained to do, and they go about in our society manhandling young men. The #END SARS campaign has been put out there, and nothing serious seems to have been done about it, young men have been beaten, arrested, killed all in the name of being accused of being a YAHOO BOY.
SARS has, over the years earned a notorious reputation of a brutal agency, following cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, ill-treatment of detainees and extortion of suspects. Ending SARS now might seem a good idea but it will hinder the fight against armed robbery whish they incredibly helped reduce.SARS needs an over-hauling –not a ban- to check its excesses without trading off an increase in crime. We can see viral videos on the internet of the manhandling of young men by SARS officers.
We all know that the IGP has disbanded SARS satellite offices across Nigeria, but we can still see them in the society committing hideous crimes and illegal breaking of houses, and extortion. For example, the offices in Ikorudo, Ijebu-ode, and Obadaoko of Lagos state, from where the officer’s come to cause mayhem have been disbanded. We need them stopped, especially in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
All we ask for is that we young men who have good jobs and handwork be allowed to live our lives, if we are stopped and say what we do, even with proof, please allow us to go. We owe no one an explanation of the nature of our jobs, also, young men, try to dress decently, don’t do dreadlocks except you are an artist and your work style permits it, don’t always put on ripped jeans as you might look indecent thereby being seen as a suspect, also don’t raise your voice on an armed police officer, even when you know your right. A word is enough for the wise.