From Barry Agbanigbi – ASABA
There was a new twist to the trending organized ‘End SARS’ imbroglio across the country as thousands of angry protesters in Delta state renewed hostility against the proposed SWAT nomemcleture for the police department.
The protesters who had been on the streets of Asaba metropolis, for several days particularly in and out of the State seat of power, threatened ‘no retreat, no surrender’ until their demands for total scrap of the department.
They carried placards of various headlines, including “SARS and SWAT are the same”, “IGP stop playing politics with human life”, “FG end SARS, stop SWAT now”, “SARS and SWAT are evil”, “Police is no longer our friend” etc.
For several hours, the protest led to traffic gridlock around the Ekumeku Flyovet, popular known as Inter-Bau Roundabout as youths, comprising males, females and students of tertiary institutions.
They lamented the harassment and extortions they had suffered in the hands of men of the special squad.
One of the leaders of the protesters, Amaechi Chukwujindu said it was a deliberate plot by the top echelon in the presidency and the police hierarchy to return the squad under a different name.
He said, “why is human life not sacrosanct to the incumbent government in Nigeria? It is dubious to bring back SARS under the disguise of SWAT. The same bad character in SARS will comprise the new SWAT. Are we not back to their jungle justice?”
Supporting him, a teenager, who simply identified herself as Lady Tina, recalled how men of the special squad defrauded her of N90,000.00 when they stopped her while she was driving in her suitor’s car.
“They stopped me during their unscheduled stop-and-search along Mariam Babangida Way in Asaba. They threatened me, collected my i-phone, searched it and implicated me. Before I could get out of their hands, I had transferred N90,000.00 to them.
Men of the squad are evil minded. They kill, they rob and they kidnap. They are gangsters”, she alleged.
The protesters vowed to unleash violence on the residents of the state until the police department is completely scrapped.
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