Nigerians have launched an #EndSARS campaign on Twitter, detailing atrocities committed by the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad and called for its scrapping.
The #EndSARS campaign as at 2pm was number one on Twitter. And it was immediately followed by over 400,000 tweets on the Police themselves.
In posts after posts, Nigerians recounted horrible, harrowing encounters with SARS, the dreaded squad of the police, set up to fight banditry. Often, the men went off course to torment innocent Nigerians.
2015: It was about 6.40pm, somewhere around Federal Secretariat, Abuja. A friend and I were concluding a brief discussion in my car when SARS men quickly drove in front of us and blocked my car. Like an action film, they jumped off theirs, swung my car doors open… /1
— Bukky Shonibare (@BukkyShonibare) December 3, 2017
My brother was arrested some years back by SARS in his shop cuz he looks like one who smoke weed. He was detained for almost 2 years. Ever since then he has stpd living a normal life cuz the shock is still all over him #Endsars
— ❤️in-advance-mum❤️ (@OmowumiBright) December 3, 2017
— Demola (@OmoGbajaBiamila) December 3, 2017
Let me not even start getting angry again today. The same SARS that stopped my friend with his two friends on their way to Ilorin from Ogbomoso and planted “Indian Hemp” in his car. Each of their parents paid 50k. I support this #ENDSARS on their behalf.
— Bhadmus Hakeem 🇳🇬 (@Bhadoosky) December 2, 2017
Here's another video of men of the SARS unit manhandling a citizen for refusing to enter their vehicle.
— Naija Virals (@NaijaVirals) December 3, 2017
As the Twitter storm raged, the police hurriedly announced emergency lines for public complaints, according to a post by Channels TV:
However, a Nigerian complained in another tweet that he had been blocked by Assistant Police Commissioner, Abayomi Sogunle, who heads the Police Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit:
ACP Yomi Shogunle of the @PoliceNG_PCRRU blocked me, The Yomi guy is a problem himself, the #EndSARS campaign should go with #SackYomiShogunle , he is a disgrace to whatever he represents here. Very arrogant and irresponsible! pic.twitter.com/dzwokKKccx
— Oluyemi Fasipe 🇳🇬 (@YemieFASH) December 3, 2017
Sogunle responded in his own tweet why he did so: “Yes we can disagree 24/7 on everything but the use of vulgar/unacceptable words or uncouth behaviour on my TL = Twitter #Block. Advise all those “Yomi Shogunle has blocked me” to test their Twitter block case in court”
Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, who now frequently uses Twitter like Donald Trump, joined in the campaign and urged government to remedy the situation:
The arbitrary harassment of young Nigerians by Police (who should be protecting them) has no place in a democratic society.
The #EndSARS protest shows Nigerian youth are upset and the matter needs urgent attention.
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) December 3, 2017