The Special Anti-Robbery Squad has been a major tool of oppression and repression in Nigeria since it was formed in 1992. Over the last four years, there have been several popular calls to #EndSarsNOW. Each time, this was after its operatives killed poor Nigerian youths. The shooting of a young man in Ughelli on 3 October ignited this call once again.
To douse mass anger, the Inspector General of Police immediately barred SARS from conducting its notorious patrols and stop and search practice. But this is not enough. As the failure of earlier reforms show, you cannot tame the SARS animal. It must be done away with.
It is a lie that SARS is meant to stop armed robbery. Its main purpose is to drive fear into the hearts of poor people. Operatives of SARS have always been part of the combined security forces who swop on Coalition for Revolution (CORE) activists across the country during #RevolutionNow protests.
Rather than stop crime, SARS operatives are criminals. In 2010, a Sahara Reporters investigation revealed how they unlawfully made N9.35bn in just 18 months from extortions along their 1,350 checkpoints in the south east alone! This was against N3.5bn lost to kidnappers as ransoms in the same period.
The police in general is not your friend anywhere. They are the first line of the elite’s class coercion to keep we, the poor people cowered and suppressed. The “law and order” they maintain is to facilitate exploitation and oppression of the poor masses and youth. In the United States they are used to preserve capitalism and white supremacist racism. In Greece and other European countries, they vote overwhelmingly for fascist parties. One of the key tasks of the triumphant revolution must be to dismantle the police force.
SWL fully supports the #EndSarsNow mobilisation of the #RevolutionNow movement. We will fight until victory, with other working-class people and youth to defeat the capitalists whom the police protect, and kick the police, the rabid attack dogs of the capitalists, into the dustbin of history.