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Photo of ‘SARS officials’ dressed like ‘armed robbers’ causes outrage on Twitter

A photo of three supposed members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force has become a source of huge criticism on the social media.

According to the picture which has gone viral, the only sign that the men could be SARS operatives was the ‘F-SARS’ inscription that was barely visible on the patrol waistcoat they wore.

Two of the ‘SARS personnel’ spotted dreadlocks, and the other with a bald head, had bloodshot eyes. Two also had big eyeglasses resting on their heads, while one wore what looked like a  necklace. All three posed with their AK 47 rifles.

Sharing the picture on tweeter, Kayode Ogundamisi, a popular social media influencer and social commentator, wrote: “Dear Nigeria Police, NOTHING absolutely NOTHING justifies a NATIONAL POLICE (personnel) to dress the way the F-SARS officers are dressed. They could as well pass for Armed Robbers. It is an absolute DISGRACE.”


In December 2017, Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police (IGP), ordered that no SARS operative should embark on any operation without putting on an official uniform for easy identification.

Idris stressed that the sole mandate of SARS is to prevent, confront and solve cases related to armed robbery and other violent crimes, adding that all operations must be carried out on the permission of appropriate heads while reiterating that.

However, there have been numerous reports of harassment, humiliation and extrajudicial killings being carried out by SARS officials. In Lagos State, SARS officials have reportedly made life unbearable for citizens, especially young boys whom are often arrested at will and labelled internet fraudsters (yahoo boys).


Presently, there is an ongoing social media campaign, tagged #ENDSARS, calling for the scrapping of SARS. The campaign is being championed by Segun Awosanya, a legal practitioner and human rights activist.

 

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