Hundreds of youths on Friday took their protests against brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the Lagos State Government secretariat, demanding reform of the Nigeria Police.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters blocked the entrance of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa.
NAN reports that the #EndSARS protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as #SARS is our Enemy, #Govt is Silent.
Others were #Sovereignty is the People not the Government, #End SARS Now, #IGP listen or you Resign #We are tired of being Oppressed.”
One of the protesters, Miss Taiwo Balogun, a 500 level student of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun, told NAN that they wanted an end to SARS and not a reform of the police outfit.
She said: “Not all Nigerian youths are cyber criminals and robbers but SARS kept assaulting and harassing us.
“SARS have become a total menace and a pain in our neck, they molest both male and female, young and old.
“The government created SARS and can as well bring an end to them.
“We want government to listen to our demand and bring an end to their evil and uncontrollable ways.”
Lasisi Abayomi, a music artiste, also urged government to ban SARS.
He said: “SARS have criminalised us. When they see any youth, they assume they are into Yahoo, therefore we want the government to ban them.”
The Lagos Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, who addressed the protesters, charged the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, to prosecute the bad eggs within the police force.
Hamzat said that every decent Nigerian should be upset with the overzealousness of the security operatives, adding that such must stop.
Hamzat said that banning the operatives was not the solution to end the menace, adding that the police are important for the safety of Nigerians.
“We are not against the police fighting robbers but what we are saying is don’t unjustly hurt our children because of their looks.
“The police must remain, as their job is of utmost importance to our safety.
“They only need to purge themselves of the bad eggs among them,” he said
The deputy governor also urged the police to stop trampling on the rights of citizens.
According to him, it is not just right to arrest people because of their looks, phones or laptops they are carrying.
“The police job is to arrest and charge people for prosecution if they do something wrong.
“The police must do their jobs and must be done in a lawful manner.
“This is not a kangaroo country, we are a country of process.
“That tenets must be adhered to,” the deputy governor said, urging the protesters to allow for due process to take place.
Hamzat advised the protesters to be peaceful, orderly and law abiding.
He stressed that it was wrong for any law enforcement agent to maim or criminalise another Nigerian citizen without a reasonable cause.