Nigerians React to VP Osinbanjo's 'Overhaul' of SARS After Public Outcry of Rampant Abuse
Many Nigerians are celebrating the reform, while some remain cynical.
Nigeria's acting President Yemi Osinbanjo has ordered an "immediate overhaul" of the country's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) following wide-spread allegations of abuse and human rights violations.
In a press release, the Nigerian Police Force, stated that SARS will now be known as the Federal Special Anti-Robbery squad (FSARS), and appointed a new commissioner to oversee the imprint.
SARS became the target of the #EndSARS social media movement last December, when young Nigerians began recounting chilling, nearly fatal, incidents involving the anti-robbery squad. Nigerian rapper Falz depicted a typical run-in with SARS in his viral music video 'This is Nigeria."
Aside from calling for the overhaul, Osinbanjo took to Twitter to list resources for people who may have suffered at the hands of SARS, urging them to report their experience for further investigation.
PSA: Aggrieved members of the public who have any complaint in the past or present of violation of their rights by… https://t.co/V1VKhYnsE2— Presidency Nigeria (@Presidency Nigeria)1534314725.0
Many Nigerians have expressed hope in these changes. Some are praising the sitting president for taking action, in the absence of Nigeria's notably slow-to-act leader Buhari, who is currently on holiday.
Lai Mohd- We won't end SARS Yomi SARS- We won't end SARS Social Media: Let's end SARS Osinbajo- Endimus sarsicus… https://t.co/ymS6RWAPRf— Demilade Julius (@Demilade Julius)1534265641.0
So glad to hear that @ProfOsinbajo has responded to the #EndSARS campaign. This is an example of what I mean when I… https://t.co/ufAiotNP8Y— AYO SOGUNRO (@AYO SOGUNRO)1534271751.0
@ProfOsinbajo How come good things happen anytime the president is out of town. #SARS #LawalDaura— Arnold Donald (@Arnold Donald)1534262558.0
With this #ENDSARS victory, Segalink has laid a blueprint overhauling oppressive structures in Nigeria using socia… https://t.co/hTmAObrybo— Kelvin Odanz (@Kelvin Odanz)1534257176.0
#EndSARS Who do you prefer as president RT for Osinbanjo Like for Buhari https://t.co/jIqnOJlszY— Kaybest (@Kaybest)1534260395.0
*The Next time SARS stop me* #EndSARS Me: https://t.co/ccaOED3lvb— Mr.┏̲O̶̲̅┓̲P ┏̲A̶̲̅┓ (@Mr.┏̲O̶̲̅┓̲P ┏̲A̶̲̅┓)1534293400.0
Folks are also recognizing one of the foremost leaders of the #EndSARS movement, Segun Awosanya, for his efforts in pushing for the abolishment of the group.
#EndSars came through people. Let's appreciate this man https://t.co/pkKusl0VQc— Today's Bread (@Today's Bread)1534251719.0
Not everyone is convinced that this new directive will truly bring about reform, however. It means nothing if the government doesn't put swift action behind it, and some are sharing messages that reflect a cautionary view.
@NGRPresident Setting up a commission to look into a commison that was supposed to look into a commison looking int… https://t.co/xiE3KpgHDS— NOSA TOPNOTCH (@NOSA TOPNOTCH)1534265495.0
Did Osibanjo say shut down Sars or overhaul? Let no one use English to confuse you. Overhaul means change or reform NOT eradicate #EndSars— MystiqueSyn O. (@MystiqueSyn O.)1534266733.0
I remember when Osinbajo went to Ogoni, took pictures and gave the directive for Ogoni clean up. Nothing happened… https://t.co/a6guOijZOq— Ugonnia (@Ugonnia)1534262734.0
Nigeria: #SARS overhaul is positive step but reforms must be robust. #EndSARS— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@Amnesty Int. Nigeria)1534268610.0