The disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad a.k.a SARS after youths and adults alike took to the streets in protest came with huge jubilation. SARS operatives had become a pain in the neck and a thorn in the flesh of every Nigerian in the society. The fear of SARS became the beginning of wisdom. They were out to maim, destroy and kill especially the youths when their demands were not met. At some points in time before the Covid-19, these SARS operatives glad in some dirty looking jeans pants and smelly worn out t-shirts with the inscription SARS written at the back would wait outside bank branches for their prey. The moment they see young men wearing jeans and t-shirts emerging for the bank, they start harassing them with charges of cyber-fraud. The belief is that they have gone to collect western union. Merely carrying an empty laptop bag made you a suspect to SARS.
When the Inspector General of Police proscribed the unit releasing a statement, there was something in point number three. SARS was set up to combat armed robbery. That was the major function. These operatives left robbers and started chasing after young men going on with their businesses. Is that the police heads did not know that the unit had deviated from the original mission? The same operatives that were already bad eggs in SARS are the same people they will push to other units to be mounting road blocks on the road. The statement in point three said there will be a new arrangement for robbery. How are we sure, that it is not the same operatives that were in the former SARS that will be in the new arrangement?
In foreign countries, special anti- robbery squads do not patrol streets or go about doing stop and search. When there is a case of robbery, they are called to come and do their work. They sit in their offices. They are not seen moving from place to place brandishing AK 47 guns as if Nigeria is fighting a war. Despite the presence of SARS or police check points, how many robberies has it stopped during traffic jam in Mile 2, Akpongbon etc in Lagos? As long as police continues to stand on the road mounting illegal check points in every part of the country, SARS has not ended. It will be re-branded. It is the same ideology of extortion, harassment and causing mental and physical harm to innocent citizens. The whole Nigerian Police needs reforms, restructuring and overhauling. Some policemen need to go. They are not meant to be in the police in the first place.