Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, has called for a review of the activities of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) of the Nigeria police force.
He stated this in a post via Twitter, while lending his voice to the #ENDSARS discussions on social media on Saturday.
The #ENDSARS movement, which became popular in 2017, trended again on social media on Saturday, after a video of an alleged shooting of a man by policemen in Delta state, went viral.
In February 2020, reported how Tiyamiyu Kazeem, assistant captain of Remo football club, was also said to have been killed by an officer of the SARS unit in Ogun state.
The former vice-president, who said SARS officers have become “oppressors”, called for a review of the unit’s activities.
“The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the @PoliceNG 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,” he said.
“Reports of intimidation, harassment and outright extortion by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have continued unabated.
“I strongly condemn their cruel actions against our people, and I urge the government to rise to the occasion and nip this monstrosity in the bud with the seriousness it deserves.
“It is expedient that the activities of SARS are reviewed to ensure that the rogue elements are excised from the unit and sanity returned to its operations.”
In a related development, Bukola Saraki, former senate president, also condemned the harassment of citizens by SARS, and urged the federal government to take urgent steps to address the situation.
“The reports of the continued harassment, illegal arrest, detention and high handedness by rogue cells of the SARS Unit of @PoliceNG against innocent Nigerians – most of them young people – in spite of efforts to reform the Police & raise standards of policing, are disheartening,” Saraki wrote in a post on Twitter.
“A situation where the officers of @PoliceNG become a threat to the lives and property of the very citizens they swore to protect is condemnable and unacceptable.
“I call on the Federal Government to immediately put a stop to these reprehensible activities and restructure the unit to better perform its lawful duties of safe guarding the lives and property of the Nigerian people.”