File: SARS operatives
The past few days have not been the best for the Nigerian Police Force. The widespread protests over the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) began as the massive young population became tired of SARS’ operations. They are demanding reforms of the police squad, which has been characterized by immense brutality, assault, illegal arrest, extortion, and the killing of peaceful protesters. Despite forcing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to disband the unit, they are not satisfied as they want total police reforms and the officers in the squad department to face justice.
The Police Department had never been so humbled and overwhelmed by the Nigerian youth since its many years of establishment. What we are seeing does not only call for repackaging and rebranding of the police force; it also calls for an assessment of the police institution, its operations, and psychology as well as police conduct and style. While the ongoing condemnation against the Police Department occurred as a result of the scandalous murder of youths in Nigeria, it is on record that before then, violent police conduct has been rampant in Nigeria.