The #EndSARS Protesters in Lagos State have vowed not to back down until the government addresses their demand to end police brutality and intimidation carried out by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
They disclosed this on Friday during a protest held at the State House of Assembly in Alausa area of Ikeja, the state capital.
Addressing the young protesters, one of the conveners and popular comedian, Debo Adebayo, said the youths were tired.
“We are not backing down, we can never back down. Look at everybody here, now I cannot even count the number of people that are here,” he said.
“It is because we are tired. When we came here, we didn’t have five per cent of this number the last time we came here for a protest.
“This is to say that the youths are waking up. While you are waking up, don’t give them another opportunity to shoot us down.
“Don’t give them another excuse to shoot us down. Like I said earlier, we are not here for politics. We are here because we are tired. Enough is enough.”
Speaking further, he asked the protesters to assemble again on Tuesday in the same environment by 9am, adding that African time wouldn’t be allowed.
SARS Should Be Scrapped
On her part, another convener of the protest, Rinu Oduala, said the lawmakers met with their delegates within the floor of the House.
When asked about the outcome, she explained that the House members agreed with them that SARS should be scrapped in the country.
“We had an emergency situation with the House. About 20 of us were sitting with the Honourables in the House.
“We gave them our petition which was given to Obasa (the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly) yesterday and we made our stand clear.
“The Honourables were asked to rule their motions on the matter. Most of them agreed in our favour that SARS should be scrapped,” she said.
Oduala explained that the lawmakers agreed to give them a feedback on Monday, adding that their three-day protest has ended.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police force was put together to tackle robbery and crimes related to armed robbery within the country, but the unit has for quite a while been overreaching in its operations across the nation.
Without any legislation or order, the unit has morphed itself into some form of anti-graft agency, harassing many young Nigerians, especially men who spot dreadlocks and other forms of fancy head styles.
What would have been associated with culture and the arts, seemed to have been labeled a criminal act by SARS officials, one which operatives of the unit on routine patrols have reportedly tackled either by extorting various individuals or killing them in the name of attempting to arrest them for crimes that never get disclosed nor tried.
More often than not, encounters between men of the SARS unit and the civilian populace have ended in infringements of rights and a show of lawlessness on the part of those who swore to uphold the law and protect the citizens.