Tony Osauzo, Benin Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri, Eziomume Solomon, Nnewi, Ben Dunno, Warri and Lukman Olabiyi
The rage against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) continued across the country, yesterday, as protesters, mostly youths stormed the streets of Abuja, Lagos, Edo, Imo and Anambra states in protests.
The protest by agitated youths in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State has claimed the life a policeman stationed to prevent the protest from being carried out.
The protesters were reported to have taken to the streets in the mid day, yesterday ,in support of the Inspector -General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu directive to ban FSARS. The protest, however, turned bloody at Otovwodo junction when the protesters were resisted by a mobile police team.
Daily Sun learnt that many youths and policemen sustained various degree of injuries and a policeman was reportedly shot death by an unidentified youth. The incident also led to the destruction of several cars as commuters along the East-West road axis of Otovwodo junction scampered for safety following the series of gunshots.
Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onowakpoyeya, said there was report of confrontation between the protesters and the police but the case was still being investigated as at the time of filing this report.
However, another police source confirmed under the condition of anonymity that “Several cars were damaged following the pandemonium that ensued as the protesters opened fire on the police team leading to the death of a police corporal.”
In Benin City, peaceful ‘SARS must go’ protest embarked on by hundreds of youths on the platform of National Association of Edo Students (NAES) and coalition of civil society organisations created gridlock at the King’s Square (Ring Road) in Benin City and adjoining Akpakpava, Airport and Sokponba Roads for several hours.
The protest, however, went sour when the group arrived at the state headquarters of the State Police Command and attempted to prevent a police van from entering the premises.
Dressed in blacks, the protesters bore placards with 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, amongst others and lamented that SARS treat them like second class citizens in their own country.
Their spokesman, Okunbo Omokaro, told newsmen that if SARS must exist in the country they must operate within the ambit of the law that set them up. Speaking in the same vein, Miss Precious Oruche said; “I am putting it to the authorities that if they don’t scrap SARS then they are saying they are in support of the evils SARS have been doing. These men go around and pick boys and girls randomly and bail that is supposed to be free, they collect hundreds of thousands of naira from them”.
Receiving the protesters, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Finance and Administration, Kanayo Valentine, said the grievances of the protesters would be addressed.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the command had already complied with the directive of the Inspector- General of Police.