By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Protest against Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria police Force on Tuesday broke out in Benin Metropolis, amid speculations that conspiracy theorists that it might be a smokescreen to either shield or scuttle ongoing prosecution of some ‘members of the brotherhood and internet fraudsters’ in Edo State.
The protest comes under the banner of the Inspector-General of police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu’s ban on Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad, and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties 72 hours ago.
Our Correspondent reports that the peaceful protest grounded commercial activities around Benin -Sapele road, Upper Sokponba road, Saint Saviour area to First East and Second East Circular and airport roads in Benin City.
Commercial activities in some parts of Benin Metropolis including the king square, were grounded during the protests by youths who chanted anti-SARS songs.
The deplorable Benin-Sapele which has sometime now being in bad shape, compounded the woes of travellers on the road.
Other adjourning roads were convulsed in a traffic snarl while motorists and pedestrians who were compelled to make use of alternative routes had a hectic time before getting to their various destinations.
The youths called on police authorities to go beyond the rhetoric of banning SARS and other affiliate units of the Force by ending pervasive human right abuse, extra-judicial killings, harassment and intimidation of unarmed Civilians under the guise of looking for internet fraudsters in the State.
Some police operatives who accompanied the protesters, prevented hoodlums from hijacking the rally and descending into chaos or violent clashes with other road users.
A journalist who attempted to record the footage of the scene, got a close shave with death in the hands of the angry youths who demanded to know his motive.
One of the protesters simply identified as Kenneth, called on relevant authorities to prevail on corrupt security personnel to respect the privacy of Nigerians.
The protesters who brandished placards bearing inscription, “My house is my privacy.
“Save us from the onslaught of SARS. Nigeria is my Country” among others.