The SARS was a Nigerian Police unit that was created in late 1992. SWAT Stands for Special Weapon. It stands for Special Anti Robbery Squad
SARS was created to arrest, detain, and prosecute people that are involved in illegal crimes.
SARS( Special Anti Robbery Squad) was part of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Anthony Ogbizi.
The reason SARS was formed was when Col. Ridam of the Nigerian Army was killed by the police officers in Lagos in September 1992.
Due to the absence of police for two weeks, the crime rate increased.
However, SARS was one of the 14 units in the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.
After the widespread protest in Nigeria, and worldwide under the motto” End SARS”.
Inspector-General of Police M.A Adamu said that a new unit, the Special Weapons, and Tactics (SWAT) would replace SARS.
After a Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police officer shot a young Nigerian man in front of the Wetland Hotel in Ughelli Delta State.
After hours later, these influencers drew media attention.
The protest which took place at Abuja, the nations’ capital were attacked, beaten, and also chased away by Federal police.
But protesters returned as they took the protest to the Police Headquarters.
Several reports on International news outlets including BBC Africa. Al-Jazeera showed Federal police tear-gassing protesters, shooting live ammunition.
Meanwhile, In Lagos, protesters marched to the Lagos State House of Assembly to order an end to Special Anti-Robbery Squad
Why Nigerian Protest to End Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)?
What started as a grass movement to end police brutality in Africa’s most populous country
and has become a global phenomenon embraced by the world’s biggest celebrities.
Amnesty International has recorded 82 cases of SARS abuses over the past three years.
Including beating, hanging, sexual assault, waterboarding, and also mock executions.
SARS officers like to target young Nigerians, most especially those with alternatives hairstyles or dress sense or expensive cars.
SARS believe any young Nigerians who drive an expensive-looking car Or owns gadgets such as an iPhone is a Nigerian Prince or a Yahoo boy as we say.
What are the protesters’ demands?
“The disbanding of Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) is the only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reform
“And law enforcement agencies remains the protection of the lives of our people.” President Muhammadun Buhari said
Protesters were not satisfied until their demand was answered.
These include the release of all arrested protesters, justice for all deceased victims of brutality, and good compensation for their families.
Many are calling for a more wide-sweeping change in Nigeria, which has the largest number of people living in extreme poverty in the world and an increase in youth unemployment
It became very clear that the protest cannot just be about (SARS),
Nigeria’s people have high levels of poverty and lack of basic services, despite massive oil wealth and one of Africa’s largest economies.
Due to this, it has resulted in rampant corruption, charge rights groups.
The mandate of the SWAT(Special Weapons, and Tactics Team)
The Following are the responsibilities of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team
- Response to robbery attacks
- Rescue Operations
- Response to scenes of weapon-related crimes
- Special Operations involving high-profile criminals that constitute threats to national security including anti-banditry and counter-insurgency operations.