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Demonstrations Continue In Nigeria Despite President’s Promise To Disband SARS

by Atlantic Chronicles

By Sharon Techu

Protesters in Nigeria have continued mounting pressure for an end to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to disband the agency.

According to the BBC, protesters are very sceptical as they believed that Sars’s officers are still being deployed.

In the past six days, youths across Nigeria staged wild protests against the Nigerian Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Demonstrators have long called for the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad after unlawful arrests, torture and shootings. An End Sars campaign was launched on twitter to this effect, with most tweets calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the unit. End Sars movements have been an item on social media since 2018, but were revived by about of 1.5 million tweets last week with several public figures and Nigerian youth intensifying their efforts in the End Sars movement. During the weekend manifestations, one person was killed by security forces in Ogbomoso, while another passed away on Monday amid clashes between police and protestors in Surulere, Lagos States. 

The human rights group, Amnesty International, said the Nigerian government needs to ensure that any abusive police officers are promptly prosecuted.

The institution furthers that at least 10 people have died.

The general disgruntlement surfaced from the fact that the police unit expected to protect the population is on the contrary being a weapon of harassment. #EndSARS campaigners have circulated a list of five key demands to bring about reforms, including the immediate release of all arrested protesters, the granting of Justice for those killed by police brutality and compensation for their families.

On Tuesday evening, Mohammed Adamu, Police Chief, said all protesters will be released, adding that Nigerians had the right to protest peacefully and ordered officers to stop using force against them.

The protesters had equally demanded the creation of an independent body to investigate and prosecute misconduct, as well as an Independent psychological assessments and new training for dismissed Sars officers seeking redeployment. On Sunday October 11 2020, The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, announced the dissolution of the dreaded police formation.  However, protesters demand for an executive order from President Buhari expressing disbelief for the press conference held in Abuja. For now, the Nigerian police chief Mohammed Adamu said allegations of abuse would be investigated by a committee comprising of civil society members.

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