It is almost two weeks now since the commencement of the protests across the country aimed at ending police brutality in Nigeria championed by a deadly unit of the Nigeria Police Force named Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The protests are still raging like wildfire across the nation and the intensity is still high. The general anger and protest of Nigerians are premised on the manner or modus operandi of the squad. The appearance of the members of the squad was like those of monsters. They never wore police uniforms but were mostly clad in jeans trousers and black T-shirts and often with a red ribbon across their head. They looked horrible and fearful. Their target was mainly young boys, especially those that looked rich to them. Since the protests started, gory images of the havoc wreaked by the deadly SARS have emerged. They caused emotional trauma to families and everyone lived in fear of them.
At Awukuzu in Anambra State, it is reported that men of the SARS usually awakened the residents at 5 am every day to come and remove the dead bodies of their loved ones they had killed the previous right.
Youths were picked up randomly and whisked away with impunity as they and their commanders feared no one because they were “protected”. This has been the general situation in this country until this popular uprising against police brutality in Nigeria.
However, this End SARS protest is not just a protest against police brutality in Nigeria. It is as much a protest against inept and failed leadership, unchallenged monumental corruption, total infrastructural collapse, hopelessness and the shame of a nation.
In saner climes, a person who presided over an organization as SARS that has now been ridiculed and disgraced would voluntarily resign. The protests are a vote of no confidence on the leadership of the Nigeria police and the honourable thing is to resign. This is because before the protests, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu had been inundated with dastardly reports of the brutality of the unit under his ultimate command. He did nothing about it, rather he continued to justify their actions.
The Edge Express newspaper believes that IGP Adamu has failed in his avowed duty to protect Nigerians. He has consequently lost the right to lead and should honourably resign or be sacked. Creating an alternative to SARS- Special Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) team is not the solution. According to Mahatma Ghandi, “the moment there is suspicion about a person’s motive, everything he does becomes tainted.” By these protests, Nigerians have spoken that Mohammed Adamu is not worthy to lead the 21st century Nigeria Police Force.
We also use this opportunity to call on President Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, immediately commence a sweeping clean-up of Nigeria. He should think of the future of our youths and children unborn and deal decisively with corruption, irrespective of one’s political affiliation and without any sentiment whatsoever. Nigeria youths need to be reassured that Nigeria belongs to them and actually cares for them. All the embezzled public funds are enough to make a Nigeria of our collective dream. Opportunity is here for genuine change to begin in Nigeria.