Hundreds of youths in Rivers State yesterday, staged a peaceful protest in Port Harcourt, condemning the activities of some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command.
Protesting on the platform of Niger Delta Non-Violence Youth Leaders Assembly (NDNYLA), they marched through some major streets in Port Harcourt with placards that read: “Akin Fakorede has turned SARS into something else”, “ IGP rise up to the occasion, Akin Fakorede must go”, “The activities of Akin Fakorede is creating bad image for the Nigeria Police”, among others.
Addressing newsmen at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Port Harcourt, Coordinator of the group, Omachi Chinasa, accused the SARS Commander, Akin Fakorede, of being incapable of handling operatives under him.
Omachi said: “We want to state that the SARS Commander, Akin Fakorede, is incapable of handling his men. We are being humiliated; our people are being killed. Our people have been raped and at the end of the day, they will come back and say it is our people that raped our people. Meanwhile, it is SARS people that are raping our people.
“They go with different kinds of drugs in their pockets and go to search people’s houses. At the end of the day, they plant the drugs in people’s houses. They will plant those exhibits and arrest those people. They will deal with those people and at the end of the day, you bail yourself with hundreds of thousands of naira in our state. We will no longer allow it.
“For the sake of time, what we are saying today is that let the Federal Government, especially the President, Muhammadu Buhari, come to our aid. Let the Inspector-General of Police come to our aid.”
Also speaking, one of the leaders of the protesters, Mr. Okocha Njobuanwu, demanded that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, set up a committee to investigate the activities of SARS operatives in the state.
Okocha said: “We are here today, to register our displeasure with the activities of SARS in Rivers State. We are not against the Nigeria Police, we are not against security agents. What we are saying is that we have series of complaints against SARS. His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike, has also made some allegations against SARS. What we expect is for the hierarchy of the Nigeria Police, the Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State to set up a unit to investigate these allegations. SARS is there to protect us, but, today, we found out that SARS instead of protecting us, is killing us”.