Thursday, 15 October 2020 06:42

#NotoSWAT protests rock Warri - SARS office in Anambra State locked

In Warri, Delta State, hundreds of youths stormed the streets, demanding immediate disbandment of the Special Weapons and Tactics, unit of the Police, SWAT..

The protesters, who marched from Refinery Road through Warri-Sapele Road and other major roads in Uvwie and Warri South local government area, said there was no difference between the disbanded SARS and the newly formed SWAT.

The protesters carried placards with several inscriptions denouncing the newly formed SWAT and the disbanded SARS.

The protest was peaceful, though their action caused long vehicular traffic on several major routes in the oil rich city.

Some of the protesters who spoke to newsmen, said the protest was all about getting the Police to sit up, adding that there is urgent need for Police reform that will enhance efficiency of the institution as a law enforcement agency.

Felix Oghenerume, one of the protesters said: “This is about having a sane Police institution. We cannot do without the Police but the Police should be responsible.

“SARS, abused its role. And we fear SWAT is just another name for SARS. There is urgent need for Police reform,” he said

It would be recalled that an #EndSARS protest had held in Ughelli, headquarters of Ughelli North Local Government Area last week where a Policeman was allegedly killed and his rifle taken.

SARS office in Awkuzu locked

In Awka, Anambra State, the defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, headquarters at Awkuzu in Oyi Local Government Area, regarded as the most notorious in terms of brutality, was under lock yesterday, even as #ENDSARS protesters paralyzed activities in Awka.

The protesters, who caused traffic gridlock in the Anambra State capital gave names of 12 persons who they claimed, were brutally murdered by Awkuzu SARS operatives within the past few months. They listed Onitsha, Oraifite, Ozubulu, among others, as places where they were killed.

Although the usual beehive of activities associated with Awkuzu SARS had disappeared, some of the operatives were seen sitting in front of the office.

It was gathered that those being detained before the dissolution of SARS were yet to be freed, just as several confiscated vehicles were still seen around the office.

One of the people whose relations were in detention at the time of the dissolution, said nobody had briefed them on what to do, adding that he rushed to the place soon after the announcement of the dissolution, but said there was nobody to attend to him.

Awka grounded

Meanwhile, the #SARS protest brought economic activities in Awka to a stand still for several hours as the protesters used vehicles to block some of the major roads.

One of the protesters, Mr. Johnson Okemili, who stood on top of one the vehicles, listed 12 names of people, mainly youths, who they claimed, were killed by operatives at Awkuzu SARS within the past few months.

According to him, the victims were murdered on mere trumped up allegations of either being armed robbers without taking them to court, or being yahoo-yahoo boys.

He said: “One of my friends lost his life because he asked why he was being harassed by SARS operatives. They kicked him and tortured him until he became unconscious and did not recover from it. “I don’t know if they do not like people who look good or seem to be doing well in their businesses at youthful age.”

He said it was not enough for the IGP to dissolve SARS and replace it with another outfit, arguing that it was just the name that had been changed.

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