Coalition Of Students, Groups Condemn Harassment Of Youths In Ogun By SARS - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Coalition Of Students, Groups Condemn Harassment Of Youths In Ogun By SARS



From Ayobami Ife,  Abeokuta

A coalition of five civil organisations in Ogun State on Saturday condemned in strong term, the alleged  harassment of students and youths in the state, especially in Ijebu - Ode and its environs, by Operatives of the Special Anti-Robery Squad(SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force.

The Coalition said to comprise some members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National Association of University Students(NAUS), National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS), Contingent Leadership Forum(CLF) and Ijebu Youths Assembly(IYA) and Youths Advocate (YA) called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun, to shut down SARS activities in Ijebu - Ode and the state.

The youths in their hundreds  marched peacefully to the Igbeba  Area Command of  the Nigeria Police at Ijebu Ode,  met with the Area Commander, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and  presented their grievances to him for onward delivery to the respective Police authorities.

The Coalition led by Comrade Falola Ahmed Stainless claimed that the  presence  of SARS Operatives is characterised by brutality, intimidation, extortion and killings of youths, lamenting that some of the  victims are students.  

Falola who is the President of Ijebu Youths Movement, stressed that SARS has been a threat to their lives, citing examples of how  often the officers suddenly droped from their vehicle to arrest them while riding  on commercial motocycle known as Okada to collect their phones, beat and extort them while also unjustly labelling the victims as 'Yahoo Yahoo Boys.'
 
He said:  "We are here to let the police know the brutality, intimidation, extortion and harassment met out to the youths by the men of Special Anti Robbery Squad SARS in Ijebu Ode and its environs. We are not here to fight the police nor the Area Commander who has been fatherly since he was posted here including the DPOs but to appeal to them to caution their officers to stop the harassment and let the youths of Ijebu Ode enjoy their freedom.
 
While responding to the students demand on behalf of the police, ACP Abiodun Onuoha advised them to be law abiding in expressing their grievances, lamenting that as there are bag eggs among the youths, it's also same within the police institution but pledged to himself  available to the leaders of the youths and students.

He encouraged them to bring to his notice, anyone that experience such intimidation and harassment to him for appropriate action.

But protest nearly took a disturbing dimension when some youths hijacked the protest by running from one  Police station to the other, chanting  "No more SARS" but they were cautioned by Stainless who warned them that  if anyone was found wanting, such person would carry his or her cross alone.

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