Home / News / πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬ Nigeria: Is SARS gone or is it being rebranded?

πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬ Nigeria: Is SARS gone or is it being rebranded?

Nigerian authorities say they have abolished a notorious police unit after a week of huge protests sparked by a viral video that showed two officers shooting a man – but demonstrators are not convinced by the move.

The protests, during which Amnesty International says at least 10 people were killed, have continued. Activists say disbanding the Special Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was not enough and that campaigning will continue until there is root and branch reform of the police force and an independent investigation into abuses.

President Muhammadu Buhari insists β€œextensive police reforms” will take place. The country’s top police officer has promised to investigate allegations of abuse involving SARS officers and ensure former officers go through a medical and psychological evaluation before being reassigned. Protesters, though, are sceptical.

An announcement that a new unit, the Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT), would be formed to replace SARS prompted activists to claim the unit was simply being rebranded. The #EndSars movement on social media was quick to launch a second campaigning hashtag, #EndSwat.

SARS has been around since 1992 and has repeatedly been accused of corruption, torture, arrests and extrajudicial killing. The #EndSars hashtag was first used in 2017 when other videos of alleged abuse went viral.

Amnesty International documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill treatment and extra-judicial killings between January 2017 and May this year – the victims mainly men aged between 18 and 35.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss the latest developments in this-fast moving story, ask why it has galvanized Nigerians both at home and abroad, and look ahead to what may happen next.

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28 comments

  1. Avatar
    Al Jazeera English

    Thank you for watching everyone. Tell us what you think about the Nigeria protest movement in the comments below.

  2. Avatar

    Confusing head title, SARS or violent in Nigeria?

  3. Avatar

    Great topic great discussion. Nigeria should be a democratic county. They are very diligent and enthusiasts. Love from india

  4. Avatar
    Emmanuel Emmanuel

    Am sorry I feel uncomfortable each time this old nigerian politicians speak .

  5. Avatar

    Nigeria is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. With 11x less land than the USA but soon expected to have a greater population than the USA by 2050. There is going to be even bigger strains on clean drinking water, sanitation, sewage system, traffic, healthcare, crime, ect. The place is going to be h3ll

  6. Avatar
    Tawakalt Oseni - HKF.

    This lady should moderate US presidential debates.

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    Sister Femi, the cause of this unruly and brutal behaviour of the Sars stems from the top hierarchy of the squad who collected N500,000 from each member of the squad and asked them to recoup their money from the unsuspecting civilian populace. This is outstandingly bad and sad.

  8. Avatar
    Cara David Isabela Bass

    10:43 has the best πŸ˜πŸ’‹ πŸ’πŸ’–β€οΈ

  9. Avatar
    Ayla Blanchard Cecelia Small

    I need boyfriend πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

  10. Avatar

    Sounds like a Nigerian SARS is a human group, NOT the virus SARS.

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    Will SWAT turn into the same thing as SARS? I doubt it. However, the people need to continue to put pressure on their leaders to prevent this SWAT from becoming unaccountable to human rights like SARS was.

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    It will just be repackaged!

  13. Avatar
    HENRY NNAEMEKA OGBUNIGWE

    End Nigeria, that's all that can be a viable resolution

  14. Avatar

    This is only time I have decided to give Tomb up .

  15. Avatar

    Can anyone help me, I am in an accident, my wife had a hit and run accident and broke her leg bone, is there anyone who is generous to help me, for the sake of Allah I ask for help for my wife's medical expenses, can you send it to a bank account number 155-00-1008842-8 Nur Cahyo Hidayatulloh I'm from Indonesia

  16. Avatar

    just by looking at the population growth predictions its apparent that Nigerians cannot afford bad governance, especially when having their collective wealth stolen and squandered. Double standards must not be allowed any more when the country is robbed by the powerful.
    My view as a German who has had the privilege of living under a roughly fair administration that delivers.

  17. Avatar

    876πŸ‡―πŸ‡²πŸ‡―πŸ‡²NIGERIAN!! WE ARE LOVING EVERY MINUTE. WE ARE πŸ’― WITH YOU. DON'T STOP UNTIL THE GOVERNMENT DROPS. HOW COULD THE PRESIDENT DISRESPECT HIS PEOPLE LIKE THAT AND IS ACTING AS IF HE'S NOT EMPLOYED BY THE PEOPLE. GO NIGERIAN GO.
    DON'T STOP, THE WORLD IS WATCHING πŸ‡―πŸ‡²β€πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬

  18. Avatar

    We really need to get rid of political interference with the police, the Nigerian justice system can be a system on it's own. Officials can be elected to office rather than appointed. I am beyond proud of the Nigerian youths and I hope that our efforts are rewarded.

  19. Avatar

    Great programme, variety is the spice of life, thanks for keeping us updated with the other side of the world, I am praying for peace

  20. Avatar

    Ohhh you’re talking about that SARS! … πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

  21. Avatar
    Steve Nosa Omorogiuwa

    One major problem in Nigeria, is this issue of the Centralization of everything in Abuja. Where did we get this kind of Federal System from? In the US, every city/township has its own police department. In Nigeria, we set up a police force, to police the whole federation, with a so-called Inspector-General to oversee this unworkable bogus childsplay or a big joke. The IG has to be a superhuman or a sort of god to be able to lead the big joke called Nigeria police. How does this general inspector, inspect the activities of the police in states, LGAs, cities, etc, that he has never visited or known

  22. Avatar

    Trump an moran and war criminal

  23. Avatar

    The world has lost their healthcare and pharmaceutical industries to limitless GREED.

  24. Avatar

    Retrained the existing police officers with increased in salaries, good accommodation's, good health insurance for the officer's n their families but any police officer cought in bribery n corruption's business should be arrested n sentenced two hundred yrs of imprisonment with hard labor's no visitations from families n friends period.

  25. Avatar

    President Buhari should address us a father if he really meant good for us. A good president shouldn't ignore the very Nigerians that voted him.

  26. Avatar

    Problem of Police is Centralisation… there is a need to Decentralise police force to State nd Local level if not Nothin will ever change wt Police.. The Police job is too much for for Federal to control…

  27. Avatar

    They government made the same statement that SARS was disbanded almost every year since 2017

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