Wednesday, 18 May, 2022


Is this the end of SARS !

EndSARS is trending worldwide. I just read that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nigeria has disbanded SARS.

Sometime on the 19th September 2019 I posted the following on Facebook……
”……………… if you are a Youth and have dreads, or drive a flashy car, the police make a ‘law’ that you must be stopped, given a few hot slaps and asked to give up your smartphone or laptop along with any password so they can trawl through your possession. The police make ‘law’………..
It is the Nigerian way.
Police and their laws.
It is the Nigerian way.”

In my opinion it is the wrong way. It is wrong when those who are supposed to protect you become the ones you fear and the ones who actually kill you.

That SARS has now been banned is an expected and typically Nigerian knee jerk reaction to issues and problems. Is the IGP just becoming aware of the rot that exist within his Force?

Now SARS is disbanded, are the officers sacked from the Police Force? No. They will be deployed to other units with the same criminal mind set. So, the same ex-SARS officers will be assimilated into Anti-Cultism unit, into Drug Squad, into Cyber Crime and many other such units that exist in the Police Force. Same badness, relocated.

They still carry the same guns and the same negative and criminal mindset.

It is unfortunate that the IGP all this while did not consider reform, rehabilitation, reorientation, improvement in the recruitment process, mental health assessment for officers, spot drink and drugs testing, improvements in pay and welfare of officers …..the list goes on. You only need to visit a police barrack to understand that not much good can come out from there. Is it their fault? Police too are human. If they live in inhuman conditions, they will behave in inhuman ways.

The truth is that the rot has long set in and sanitization now looks very impossible. One bad apple spoils the bunch it is said, what do you do with a situation when the whole bunch is rotten?

Typically for Nigeria we never show that we understand the importance of dealing with issues early. We wait for total failure before we begin to scream. The same happens with our roads, our education system, security, the economy……..etc etc.

The Nigerian way.

This is why in the 21st Century we are still classed as 3rd World, with all the resources and human capital we possess.

September 19th 2019 I cried out about the Police and how they routine harass our young men and women. It is not only SARS, the whole Police Force is sick. There are good police men and women, I know some. But they too will agree that majority of their colleagues are sick, mentally and physically. How many police do we encounter on an almost daily basis whose actions are no different from psychos in mental institutions? This is not an exaggeration. Men with guns drunk out of their heads. Police with cutlasses. Police smoking marijuana openly. Police extorting motorist in broad daylight. Harassments and abductions, robberies by members of the Nigeria Police Force.

We do need the Police. They must continue to be on our streets. The alternative is too horrible to imagine. But they must become a better Force. They must be reformed so they understand they are a Protection Force and not a Persecution Force. Education and retraining are required.

That some young men and women are engaged in crime is no excuse for bad behaviour of the Police.

The way the Police have even tried to deal with the #EndSARS protests has shown clearly the poor shape the Police Force is in. Using guns and tear gas against Youth protesting who were ‘armed’ only with bottled water and face masks.

Nigeria Police, the world is watching.

Louis Ojomo

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