Early on Tuesday, 13 October 2020, the street of Uyo was taken over by the Youths of Akwa Ibom who joined in the ongoing nationwide protest against police brutality as well as demand for total disbandment of (SARS).
The nationwide protests which started following the alleged killing of a young man by officers from the SARS Unit at the beginning of October as well as violent attacks to murder of innocent people from men of the SARS, led to the call for disbandment of the Unit. Nigerian youths decided to take action into their hands by organizing a nationwide protest to seek the attention of the Government towards the total dissolution of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, commonly called SARS.
However, The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A. Adamu on Sunday, 11 October in a statement announced the disbandment of the police squad following the protests against the police unit by Nigerian youths. The statement which read that the disbandment of the squad was in response to the yearnings of Nigerians, also adding that all officers of the defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad will be redeployed with immediate effect, sparked anger in the country, as the youths insist that no member of the defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) should be redeployed to another Unit, as police brutality will still continue.
However, the protests have continued despite authorities agreeing to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) as the youths in the country are seeking for total police reforms.
Uyo resident on the early hours of Tuesday, gathered at Ibom Roundabout, in the heart of Uyo with placards calling for an end to police brutality in the country. They marched through the roads and to the Government House, Uyo, chanting;
“End police brutality! End police brutality! End police brutality,” in a peaceful protest in the state capital.
The protest in Uyo was peaceful, unlike other States where the Police deployed force and fired live bullets and teargas to disperse protesters.
Meanwhile, the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel also address the youths during the protest, commending the youths for their peaceful conduct in the “EndSARS” protest against police brutality and also assuring that their dissatisfaction’s will be addressed appropriately. In the speech, he said;
“Let me assure you that in Akwa Ibom State, immediately we heard about the issues I called the Police Commissioner and we didn’t only talk about SARS, but the entire police command that as their slogan says that police is your friend, police in Akwa Ibom must remain our friend, so they have given me 100% assurance, to work with the youths, the elders and everybody to make sure the state is calm and peaceful. He’s a man you can actually call the head of a police command that can be our friend. I want to assure you as the chief security officer of the state that we will ensure that this is done.
“Let me thank all of you and wish that as you end the protest peacefully and as we struggle in this country together God will make our tomorrow better than today, but I’m not only going to take these words of mouth, confer with your leaders and ensure that before you leave you will hand over a communiqué, which can say when the EndSARS came to our state, these were the issues they raised and I promise to take it upwards. I will also extract a communiqué from our own security meeting with the police; that the police will remain our friend because the essence of the police is to protect our lives and our properties”. he said.
some of the youths also applauded the governor for coming out to addressed the #endSARS protesters in Uyo.n