Fred Itua, Abuja
The nationwide protest against excesses of men and officers of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an arm of the Nigeria Police, on Saturday, reached a tipping point, when youths in their hundreds besieged the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
The protest, popular tagged #EndsSARS, is happening concurrently across various states of the Federation. The protesting youth are insisting on the disbandment of SARS and the prosecution of men and officers culpable in the extra-judicial killing of Nigerians.
On Wednesday, the Senate instituted a joint committee to investigate the excesses of SARS and vowed to ensure that those involved in extra-judicial killings were brought to justice.
On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari met with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu and urged him to address issues raised by protesting Nigerians against SARS.
At the Force Headquarters on Saturday, there was pandemonium. Protesters shutdown Force Headquarters and demanded to see the IGP, Adamu.
The protesters vowed not to leave the premises of the building, saying they were ready to pass a night until IGP addressed them.
A senior police officer who came out to address the crowd was interrupted as they demanded for the presence of the police boss.
All entreaties by the leader of the group and human rights lawyer, Abdul Mahmud to persuade the youths to listen to the officer was unsuccessful as they stood their ground and sat on the road.
In the meantime, gun-wielding policemen were on standby, while the standoff continued.