Why are police brutality stories going viral in Nigeria? – The Stream

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Sometimes all it takes is one tweet to start a storm. And, when a Nigerian Twitter user posted in apparent shock that they had witnessed a notorious police unit shoot a child, a storm is exactly what erupted.

Though as yet unverified, the story prompted thousands of people to pour forth with similar tales and demand that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) be disbanded.

Set up to combat armed robbery, critics say SARS is now engaged in harassment, extortion and extreme violence. And all of it with impunity.

Caught unawares by the ferocity of the online campaign, the police flip-flopped in response. They at first played down the allegations and insisted SARS was doing a good job. Later, the inspector general of the force promised an investigation and a possible restructuring. A spokesman claimed the campaign was politically motivated and said one of the main driving forces behind it, Segun Awosanya, was under investigation. A poster campaign was then launched inviting complaints.

But campaigners are not backing down. Some say only scrapping SARS will do. Some believe the rot goes deeper than any one unit and that the entire police force needs overhauling. And some are calling for a presidential intervention. There are plans to take the protest to the streets.

In this episode of The Stream we hear from the campaigners, and from the police.

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41 COMMENTS

  1. We can fill thousands of books about this subject and it won't be enough …
    Look! Before talking about a scourge in a certain field, we have to talk about society's scourges…
    Health care, police, work, etc. are nothing but a part of a whole… When things like these happen, that means that brutality is a fact in society …
    Take brutality against women for example … People complain about it because it's a trend, knowing that 2/3 women think men have the right to educate them when they're wrong and allow abuse… why? Because they have been raised like this… and men are used to be always right… and the woman who makes a complaint is pressed by her parents, then divorces because she complained, or regrets then goes see the policemen and ask them to pay her a house because they ruined her couple… even says they've used her and her ignorance… so how can you criticise them when they're afraid in some countries to register a complaint, or ask the woman to think for a moment…
    Bribery?
    Everybody criticizes bribery when it happens within political officials, but everybody seems okay with some money to put in one's pocket for children's candy, as it's not really a big sum…
    It's not about unique cases, it's about societies and this universal will to change few things and keep the 8/10 issues unchanged, just because it suits the major part of the society…
    You want your police not to be bribed to let you pass free? Stop hitting your wife or girlfriend, then bribe the policeman to let you go.
    Stop being hit then accept it and drop the complaint, to go back home and being hit again, just to come back and cry when it's your child that your man hits to death.
    We love using justice just when we need it, and manipulate it… When it suits us, even spoiled, we tell the foreigners… hey! Don't put your nose in our business it's our country and we have our own ways and customs to handle things…
    But as soon as it doesn't, we call the UN…etc. saying… Look! We're not doing well, come run us with universal laws and concepts! But don't get in other things… It's our identity… you can't understand!
    😪😪😪

  2. You know what's the problem about amnesty international? They're a real propaganda tool… how? I'll explain…
    I'm not saying these policemen are good or not, I'm not Nigerian and I know nothing about the issue, but A.I. tends to lie in a certain way… for example, they always tell 1/2 the story and show you what they think is abnormal, using people saying bullshit, just to prove their opinion, even if there are many trespassing areas, but they don't care if it doesn't serve the image they want to vehicle…
    I've witnessed that in my own country… they talked about freedom of speech… knowing that we have a free press, and free speech laws, however we have laws preventing diffamation… what did they do? They took examples of punished diffamation and interviewed people who were ready to sell their mothers for a visa and let them lie online… so how can you believe their reports after that… even if they're true!?
    Being impartial means to show everything with neutrality… to discuss the problems frankly …
    The problem of amnesty international is that it's used by so many parties that it lost its credibility …
    A picture has to be taken, and you have to trust people's judgement not direct it… that's called manipulation … which leads to incredibility
    Nigeria is known for a high level of corruption, hope it didn't touch the police field, because if it's the case that means that all these people are right and that A.I. is helping spreading it by their bad propaganda and reality hiding

  3. I am a Nigerian and I have been a victim of Nigerian police brutality. I was stopped and they called me a thief for wearing Gucci. My phone was collected, I gave them three thousand naira before my phone was given back and let me go. The whole world should know Nigerian police men are wild animals in police uniform.

  4. Officer Abayomi Shogunle is a pure liar, Nigeria Police Officers are pure criminals, SARS without Uniform, name or batch number but with AK47, Collecting money and beaten Intimidates & threatening poor people,

  5. Most People in Nigerian police don't have waec. Employ graduates and end this unprofessional hunters from killing Nigerians. Yomi thinks he is speaking for a political party. SARS ……

  6. I stand by my previous statement about the low IQ among African blacks generally. I see that you've had my comment censored. That is a signal that those who disagree with me dare not debate upon the facts. Studies done in many African countries have shown that the average IQ among black Africans is 75.

    The best denial that any leftist academic has been able to make is to say, in dressed-up language, that there is no way to study intelligence in African blacks that will produce any useful information. Which isn't true. The methods that measure intelligence in whites, in Asians, in Arabs, and in Jews also works perfectly well for Africans. It just so happens that when the tests are used, Africans always come out as the lowest scorers.

    Every race has a bell-curve shaped distribution in IQ, with most of its members being near the middle, while a few are in the high or low tails. There are some blacks who are smarter than some whites, although as a rule the reverse is true.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-N3QIw0iLblo/T7Ahj_pa50I/AAAAAAAAJSo/ExZRA6be_MQ/s1600/Richard_Dickerson_exponential_IQ_GDP_relationship.gif

    (The line and the curve in the graph at the above link are the linear and quadratic least-squares fits to the data shown.)

    The TESTED 15 countries with the highest average IQ are:

    Hong Kong, 107
    South Korea, 106
    Japan, 105
    Taiwan, 104
    Singapore, 103
    Austria, 102
    Germany, 102
    Italy, 102
    Netherlands, 102
    Sweden, 101
    Switzerland, 101
    Belgium, 100
    China, 100
    New Zealand, 100
    United Kingdom, 100

    The TESTED 15 countries with the lowest average IQ are:

    Equatorial Guinea, 59
    Ethiopia, 63
    Sierra Leone, 64
    Democratic Republic of the Congo, 65
    Zimbabwe, 66
    Nigeria, 67
    Ghana, 71
    Tanzania, 72
    Sudan, 72
    South Africa, 72
    Kenya, 72
    Jamaica, 72
    Uganda, 73
    Congo, 73
    Zambia, 77

    When (black) Africans can do this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwDCWTqNceQ

    or this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBdhuUp_GeI

    or this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwinFP8_qIM

    or this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htOoWJmYVtQ

    …then come back and talk to me. Maybe I'll revise my opinion.

  7. The Nigerian Police in general is very dangerous and unprofessional. Just come to the streets of Lagos and witness open bribery, harrassment and illegal arrest of law abiding citizens. This is not rocket science. The average Nigerian and the average Police officer is aware. And the Nigerian Police and all armed forces in Nigeria in general act like cults, once you complain, you may become the victim again. They have no fear of God.

  8. Way to go Nigeria, Year after Year, Thieving Politicians, and were talking in the Billions, Cannibalism, Stories and Video's of Police just beating the bee jezzus out of some old man or young kid Your police are lying mongrels. Just like the Police and those monkeys you have at the U.N

    Then we are lucky sometimes watching you people hitting the streets HUSTLING money then providing a good old fight for the camera's. then we got the old telephone scams, mail scams.

    Every now and then I am lucky enough to have a Nigerian pull up to the local store in his high end motor, and with a big howdy doody I alway's say man your folks must be politicians eh, dual passports, they really love it when I say give me your English accent.

    YA'LL Just Mongrels, Cannibals, Scam Artists, and Just Down Right Ugly People, did I mention those smelly Islamic Terror groups you have running around stealing school kids, Medicine, Maybe you would be kind enough to have another road trip hustling money and well see if we can't get the fight on PPV.

  9. SARS might have overstepped their bounds but the Nigerian Police has been and is still great police force. They protect and serve us beyond the normal course of duty. With one of the lowest incarceration rates in the world, highly limited resources, a judiciary drowned in backlog, no place in prisons for suspects it is a miracle that our society is at peace. Thanks to Nigerian Police and the prayers of the saints.

  10. Nigeria police are animal in human skin very dirty very weaked and bribe taker .by the way united nation just anunce it the worst police in the world.i course any nigeria police it shall not be well with them and their family forever

  11. Recently I was in Nigeria on holiday, I was always very scared when I see Nigeria police. They look horrible and unfriendly, they are worse than an arm rubbers. Always extorting money from motorists and civilian who path there ways.

  12. Those people that was able to video them are very lucky,because if they catch you videotaping them,they will firstly destroy your phone,and if you talk they will tell you that…I will shoot you and nothing will happen,which is their slogan#i am talking to you from experience,it’s God that save me that day,I lost my Samsung S7 too those armed robbers called sars

  13. SARS are the most dreaded armed robbers,I see them as robbers,sometimes when I see them doing their brutal activities,I do wish I have super power to fight for the the victim,look at that stupid asst [email protected] with the same feathers#ENDSARSNOW…corruption is our hobby,Nigeria is a bloody country,I am in another mans land,I suppose to be in Nigeria now,but am scared of this animals called sars,I can’t walk in my country with my phone or good cloth,he’s saying about 24/7 phone service,my dear al jazerah my country is doomed and dead

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