Nigerians on social media are calling on Police authorities to scrap the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, popularly known by the acronym SARS.
The call follows several incidents of brutality, abuse and harassment reported against men of the police department.
The Nigerian Police Force Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit, PCRRU, had yesterday announced the opening of channels through which the public can report complaints about SARS.
The move by the PCRRU may be connected to the public outcry that has trailed the activities of many SARS officials in recent times.
Late in October 2017, a 2015 graduate of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ekwere Imoh, was shot by policemen attached to SARS, Oyo State Police Command. The policemen also shot a female friend of his, identified simply as Doris, who was with him. There were no concrete reasons for shooting the duo as they were neither criminals nor under arrest.
Earlier in the same month, a lady, Kachi Anifela Zion, accused officers of SARS in Ilorin of sexual molestation. She said a male SARS official under the pretence of searching her, dipped his hand in her underwear.
She further revealed that the SARS official threatened to beat her if she shouted, adding that the officer continued to fondle, rough handle and humiliate her for several minutes. The SARS official implicated in the matter was later arrested.
A video also emerged online in November, where a gun-wielding SARS operative threatened to shoot two people at Akute area of Ogun State.
Here are some of the trending #EndSARS tweets
Enough of the humiliation, intimidation, extortion and murder. Every well meaning Nigerian must lend their voice. #EndSARS Now!!!— Christopher Okagbare (@c_okagbare) December 3, 2017
SARS Came To Randomly Arrest Boys From A Bar In My Hood Earlier This Year. None Have Returned Till Today#ENDSARS— Skiaaa (@OvisTebrown_) December 3, 2017
They stopped me on Friday when they saw nothing on my phone they said; oya why you get olamide wo for your phone after dey ban Am #ENDSARS— #MALOWA (@Oluwafemimusic) December 3, 2017
I was walking with my brother one day, and after they checked his pocket for drugs,his phone for pictures,his emails(all without his consent), the next thing they said was,"Take off your shirt, we want to search for tattoos".— CrÃzy Twitt3r UsÄr (@IamPreshioloye) December 2, 2017
Those guys are MAD#ENDSARS #ENDViolence https://t.co/4URuUlnVPC
SARS is a nuisance to the society, daylight robbers in official uniform, harassing the struggling youths.— 9jaWitches ð§ââï¸ð³ð¬ (@badgalmaddie_) December 2, 2017
THIS NONSENSE HAS TO STOP ð
RT if you are in support of the #EndSARS campaign.
SARS don't care about criminals, all they do is target young boys with good phones, laptops, cars.— Osas Cruz (@OsasCruz) December 2, 2017
If you have tattoo on your body, forget it only God will save you from them.
They beat/harass/extort citizens at will, They are legal criminals.#EndSARS #ScrapSARS ð
A SARS officer once cocked his gun and threatened to shoot I and my elder brother and ânothing go happenâ— Brian Dennis (@BrianJDennis) December 2, 2017
Thatâs how wild those monsters in uniform are. #EndSARS
Nigerian SARS will operate during the day and night on Mufti, and an unofficial vehicle.— DREY-PR | Emiaha Andrew #BBNaija (@DreyPR) December 2, 2017
Take innocent citizens to ATM to withdraw money under duress because they have guns.
This is kidnapping, this is robbery, this is harassment. #EndSARS
For those who may not know SARS stands for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, but all they do is to harass youths anyhow.— GREAT GRACIOUS (@GreatGracious) December 3, 2017
Please do not think only males are affected by their nuisance, females too are affected.
RT so our Voices will be heard.ð#EndSARS
wear face cap = #Suspect— #TESLIM (@VectorThaViper) December 2, 2017
wear hoodie = #Suspect
wear tattoo = #Suspect
ear ring? = #Suspect
male with braids = #Suspect
nice phone = #Suspect
nice clothes, why don't u have car? = #Suspect
young? = #Suspect
gadgets = #Suspect
Alone = #Suspect
accessories = #Suspect