End Special Anti-Robbery Squad (END SARS) is a political campaign in Nigeria opposing the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigerian Police Force. The campaign started as a social media campaign using the hashtag #ENDSARS to demand for Nigeria’s government to scrap and end the deployment of Nigeria Police Force Special Anti-Robbery Squad, popularly known as SARS.
Livingstone Etse Satekla; a Ghanaian born Africa’s most revered reggae/ragga & dance-hall artiste with international presence and reputation has joined other Nigerian celebrities, including Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, Falz The Guy, Runtown, Olamide, other to call on the government to end police brutality as more evidence of illegal activities by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) emerged over the weekend.
On Saturday, videos had surfaced on Twitter showing a witness who claimed a young man, who was commuting in the Ugheli town of Delta state, was gunned down by SARS officials. This had provoked public outcry against the police department, with the ‘EndSARS’ hashtag taking centre stage on social media platforms.
Besides arresting indiscriminately, oftentimes, SARS officers detain suspects for several weeks without arraigning them in court, which is against the 48 hours detainment period allowed and stipulated by the constitution, this Stonebwoy explained that, it is inhumane to subject humans to torture. He stated that, it is not a crime for the youths of and in Nigeria to use expensive electronic gadgets, drive expensive cars or wear designer clothing.
He posted on his Instagram story;
“I Stand With My “Green-White-Green” citizens. #EndSarsNow #EndSarsBrutality”
SARS is one of the 14 units in the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department which was established to detain, investigate and prosecute people involved in crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping and other forms of crimes.
In 2009, after several years of operations the squad grew in number and strength. Due to the surge of internet fraudsters and cultism in universities, SARS operatives infiltrated Nigerian universities, made several successful arrests but in the process harassed innocent youths. According to reports, “What SARS became was a national scourge that a witch-hunt machinery against Nigerian youth with dreadlocks, piercings, cars, expensive phones and risque means of expression.”
However, the Inspector-General of Police, M.A Adamu, has banned the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and othe Tactical Squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad operating at the Federal, Zonal, and Command levels from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, check points, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks – with immediate effect.