Saturday, 10 October 2020
One Africa Forum has noted with concern reports of brutal and inhumane activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force. We consider these villainous activities a violation of the fundamental human rights, and we condemn it in its entirety. This is following the calls by Nigerians and Nigerian activists for the government to scrap the unit and reform the police force.
Despite numerous proclamations by the government banning this unit, it has continued to act with impunity, bringing nothing but shame to the Nigerian government. This unit is infamously known for stopping and searching of civilians to extort bribes, robbing them of their possessions and exposes those they detain to unimaginable torture such as, beating, water-boarding, strangling, hanging, kidnapping and sexual violence. In some cases, many of their victims are killed in cold blood. This is ignominious to Africa and the very essence of democracy and, unfortunately, the SARS unit has brought such disrepute to Africa before the rest of the world.
Over the years, several attempts by the government to reform the unit have been futile, and all efforts to hold to account or bring the miscreants in the unit to justice have failed.
Therefore, we reiterate the calls by Nigerians and Nigerian activists to completely dissolve SARS. We believe that the unit serves no purpose for the people it is meant to protect and has no regard for humanity. This goes against all ethics of policing in a democratic system.
Furthermore, we call on the Nigerian government to compensate the families of all victims of SARS cruelty. We also encourage the Nigerian government to initiate a dialogue with the Nigerian youth to broker a peaceful reconciliation and rebuild trust in the Nigeria police system. For transparency and a sustainable outcome, we encourage the involvement of the African Union, One African Forum, United Nations, and other relevant international stakeholders in this process.
One Africa Forum remains committed to a United, developed and independent Africa anchored on peace and freedom.
Amb. Edoseghe Prince Erhahon
Leader – One Africa Forum