The social media is on fire as Nigerians are calling on the government and Police authorities to scrap the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The call follows several instances of brutality, abuse and harassment reported against men of the special squad. Central to the allegation is the reoccurring report that young Nigerians who are seen with gadgets such as Laptops, smart phones and other accessories are constantly hassled by policemen from the special squad unit in the name of fighting crime.
Earlier today, the co-founded Andela Inc and Chief Executive Officer of Invevia Inc, Mr. Iyinoluwa Aboyeji tweeted that, “(He) Can’t count the number of times I had to go to the police station because one of our Andela developers called to say they had been arrested.”
Hundreds of tweets have pointed that lot of youths have been arrested for standing on their right, refusing to unlock their phones/laptops or for just possessing such high tech gadgets.
On their defense, the Nigerian Police Force said contrary to claims of wrongdoings against SARS by some “criminals”, the anti-robbery unit had done a lot in sanitising the country.
The police said those carrying out the campaign in the social media were armed robbers.
Speaking with Vanguard, Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, vowed that the criminals won’t have their way.
In response, Nigerians have identified the official police statement as the attitude causing the problem.
In the words of a Nigerian, “You harass people and accuse them of whatever crime comes to your mind because you feel your authority is been challenged or sometimes just because you think they do not accord you the respect you think you deserve.”
If technology is going to advance in Nigeria, a more accurate measure has to be reached to curb cyber crime without affecting the youths struggling to survive and innovate in the tech industry.