The Nigeria Police Force’s Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) came under attack over the weekend on social media following a viral video where some operatives allegedly shot dead a young man in front of a hotel in the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The video, which went viral on Saturday showed how there was confusion around the Wetland Hotel in the Ughelli area where the policemen allegedly killed the victim, and escaped with his vehicle – a white Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle.
Expectedly, the action from the video sparked outrage on the social media, with many Nigerians condemning the police action and calling for #ENDSARS In a tweet from a user, Teejay, who claimed to be an eyewitness to the incident, he wrote: “SARS just shot a young boy dead at Ughelli, Delta State, as we speak in front of Wetland Hotel. They left him dead on the roadside and drove away with the deceased Lexus jeep.”
Expectedly, angry and furious Nigerians flooded the social media with their reactions, just as some of them posted their experiences from encounters they had with the SARS unit of the police. In his reaction, Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a tweet via his verified handle, said: “The safety of our residents is my number one duty as the CSO of Lagos.
So, reading reports of seemingly unlawful exploitation by the people charged to protect is very worrying and needs to be addressed immediately. Be assured that appropriate actions will be taken, and speedily too.”
On his part, Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, said in a tweet that the government will not let the harassment of youths continue to happen, stating that SARS officials responsible for such should be brought to book. He tweeted: “This government will not let that continue to happen.
This morning I got assurances that the Police authorities will take necessary and definitive actions. SARS officers responsible for these systemic assaults on the youth should be brought to book.
“While being a youth is not an excuse to commit crimes or escape the law, those in charge of crime prevention must play by the book. I urge all Nigerian youths to continue to be law-abiding and be assured that under President Buhari issues concerning them will engage the government attention.”
Earlier, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in a tweet called on the Federal Government to reform SARS. Atiku wrote on twitter: “The SARS unit of the police was set up to confront violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and other related crimes. However, the unit has today morphed into an oppressor of the Nigerian masses who strive every day for a better life.”