Youths under the umbrella of coalition of Civil Society Organisation and the National Association of Nigeria Students, staged a protest calling on the Inspector General of Police to put a stop to police brutality and extortion of youths in the country.
The youths marched through the streets of Benin City carrying placards bearing inscriptions such as ‘End SARS before they end us, end SARS brutality now, we are not criminals, we are Nigerians, no to SARS, no to police reforms.
Addressing journalists at the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Osunbor Omokaro, said if SARS must exist in the country they must operate within the ambit of the law.
He said based on brutality, intimidation and extortion, the youths are no longer afraid of armed robbers but SARS and other tactical unit of the police force.
“Today we are here to say no to SARS. SARS supposed to be for anti-robbery and anti-kidnapping and not the other way round,” he said.
He lamented that the police are using the weapon bought with taxpayers’ money to intimidate and extort money from the youths.
He called on the national assembly to reform the police and enhance their welfare package so that they will not transfer their anger on the innocent youths.
ACP Anayo Valentine. who addressed the youths on behalf of the commissioner, said the command had complied with the IGP’s directive.
Shortly after that, the protest almost turned violent as the youths engaged the police in war of words and threw at the police.
The development however led to the youths scampering for safety while many of them fell into drainage channel in an attempt to run for safety.