#EndSARS: Extra-judicial killings often lead to reprisal attacks and its already happening in Delta

For the umpteenth time now, Nigerians have taken to social media to call on the government to scrap the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for atrocities we can no longer count. The unlawful killing of Nigerians has become a norm with the SARS operatives. Unfortunately, the government has turned a deaf ear to the plight of the people while its citizens are being killed and treated like common criminals.

On Saturday, October 2, a young Nigerian was allegedly shot dead by some SARS operatives in the Ughelli area of Delta.  A story debunked by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo Sunday, who said he confirmed from the victim’s brother that he was only hospitalised after he fell out of a Police vehicle in which he was being conveyed to the police station after his arrest. According to the victim’s brother, he was pushed out of the vehicle but the police maintained that he jumped out of the vehicle.

The Minister, however, condemned the extra-judicial killings by SARS and called for comprehensive reforms and the overhaul of the system. And in response, the Inspector-General of police banned SARS Sunday, from conducting stop and search operations. But Nigerians are not convinced that this will bring an end to the killings because it is not the first time he is banning their operations

How Nigerians reacted:

The jungle justice meted out on Nigerians by uniformed men does not sit well with the masses. Consequently, youth in Delta have taken matters into their hands to avenge the unlawful killings of Nigerians by the SARS operatives and this has unfortunately led to the killing of about five members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad according to a Twitter user.

Anarchy thrives in a society where the fundamental rights of citizens are trampled upon and this is what happens in when citizens who should be protected by the State have to take up the responsibility of protecting themselves, especially from those who should be protecting them.

It is an anomaly that can escalate into something worse if concrete steps are not taken by the government to address the issue in an already fragile polity.

On several occasions, different people have pointed out several cracks in the nation that may lead to Nigeria’s breakup if urgent steps are not taken to address the issues. 

We can only hope that the government will attend to the plight of the masses and take the SARS killings as a matter of urgency before it escalates into something worse and become a divisive factor in our nation.

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