The Force Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police has reacted to the #EndSARSBrutality that has been making the rounds on the social media.
Following the escalation and support the hashtags #EndSARS and #EndSARSBrutality have been getting since it came online over the weekend, the Nigeria Police has responded by saying that those who created the hashtags and those who support them may be armed robbers.
Recall that the hashtags which debuted on Twitter on Friday, December 1, 2017, arose as a result of a series of abuse and extra-judicial killing of Nigerians by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad [SARS] of the Nigerian Police Force.
Many Nigerians who have either been victims or had family members and friends who have been victims of such abuses have been calling for the scrapping of the squad or at best, revamp it but the Nigeria Police has refuted allegations that officers of SARS ever engage in torture, extortion and abuse of Nigerians.
See one instance of police brutality in this tweet video:
Speaking on the widespread hashtags that have had the support of celebrities, politicians and Nigerians from all walks of life, the Force Public Relations Officer [FPPRO], SP Jimoh Moshood, operatives of SARS are very disciplined officers and would never behave in a manner that would constitute an abuse of citizens no matter the circumstances.
In a statement published on the official website of the Police Force, Sp Moshood said:
"Anybody who wants the SARS to be scrapped may be an armed robber or has criminal tendencies. We do not take any infraction or violation of human rights of any Nigerian likely.
You know that so many police officers have been dismissed and even charged to court. So, Nigerians should not give in to insinuations from people that just come to the social media and start spreading falsehood.
Such people spreading such information may likely be armed robbers themselves. There are laid down rules for police procedures and any police officer that goes beyond the boundary to do something outrageous which is against the law is apprehended.
As we speak, SARS is doing fantastically well across the country in reducing incidents of robbery to the barest minimum. They are doing very, very well.
There has not been any specific violation of human rights against any SARS personnel. So, anybody that is spreading such a rumour is not doing the nation any good. SARS has no excesses and when there is any, we do investigate.
The call for SARS to be scrapped should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians. Anybody calling for their proscription is not doing the nation any good and such people should be suspected of having something to hide.”
However, despite SP Moshood's explanation that SARS officers do not engage in human rights abuse of Nigerians, there have been cases where innocent people have either been killed, maimed, extorted or brutalized by operatives of the squad.
Many Nigerians have also been narrating their personal experiences in the hands of the operatives on the social media as witnessed by their tweets.
Read some of the tweets here:
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