Hundreds of placard-carrying protesters took over major roads and streets of Benin, the Edo State capital on Thursday to demand an end to the alleged lawlessness, brutality, and extortion of some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protesters, mostly in black attires, were members of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
They peacefully chanted “SARS must go,” causing huge traffic gridlock in the capital city.
Some of their placards read: “No to SARS”; “End SARS brutality now”; “We are not criminals; we are Nigerians” and “End SARS before they end us.”
Ĺeader of the protesters, Osunbor Omokaro, said: “We say no to SARS. If SARS must exist, they must operate within the ambit of the law.
“Anti-robbery should be anti-robbery. Anti-kidnapping should be anti-kidnapping, while anti-cultism should be anti-cultism.
“It is common knowledge that we have become second-class citizens in our country. SARS operatives have been exploiting Nigerians. Enough is enough.”
Omokaro also urged members of the National Assembly to reform SARS to protect defenceless Nigerians.
Edo Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Finance and Administration, Kanayo Valentine, received the protesters at the Police Headquarters in Benin.
He assured the command would quickly address the issues raised by the protesters.
Edo Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chidi Nwabuzor, a Superintendent of Police, said the Command had fully complied with the directive of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on how to put an end to the lawlessness of some SARS operatives.