An operative of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Saturday allegedly killed a Remo Stars Football Club’s player, Tiyamu Kazeem, (popularly known as Kaka).
This happened just three days after two traders were shot dead by other SARS operatives in Abeokuta.
Barbaric treatments of people in the hands of SARS are not new.
There are numerous cases on the excesses of the security operatives all over the country, but which didn’t gain the attention of the authority.
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How did we get to this level?
When you approach your bank to receive money on the platform of Western Union, it’s possible you’re approached as a Yahoo boy (Nigerian internet fraudster).
Many people think the service is for fraudsters. Therefore, it warrants barbaric treatments of people in the hands of SARS in Nigeria.
When I heard about the recent incidents, the kind of comments people were making on social media were disturbing.
Some people believe, when you dress in a certain way, go certain places, drive a certain car, or even go to the bank and receive money on the platform of Western Union, you’re most likely going to be harassed by the SARS.
Where is that mentality coming from?
Most times, when I’m travelling in a public vehicle, I punch my phone. As a writer, I use the calm moment to think and write.
Eventually, if we approach security operatives on the road, other passengers would tell me quietly, “Hide your phones… hide your phone! SARS are there!”
Without minding them, I ask myself, “Why should I hide my phone?”
Since I don’t have anything incriminating on my phone, I always ignore them. But yet, I can’t blame these good people.
What if they know I’m an innocent as I’m, but think the security operatives won’t see it that way.
Because SARS are fond of harassing people when they see you with a good phone, it really warrants taking an extra caution with them.
The question is how can the use of Western Union or pressing of phones in transit make someone a Yahoo boy?
Based on my own personal experience with SARS operative about 10 years ago, I believe bankers contribute to the barbaric treatments of people in the hands of SARS.
And almost every beneficiary of Western Union had been abused at a point in time.
You might leave the bank and encounter the security operatives on your way.
Someone in the bank might have sold you out and they want their shares in the money you come to collect.
How SARS get to know about your transactions?
This was the question I asked myself the day I had an encounter with the rogues recruited into FSARS.
I won’t say much about that for now.
But the point is there is a link between SARS and people working in the bank as there is a similar relationship between bankers and Yahoo boys in Nigeria.
All of them don’t relate by coincidence, but as an organized network to perpetrate their wrong deeds.
Because of this existing relationship, what comes to most people’s minds when you mention Western Union in front of them is,
“Maga done pay!” – That you have succeeded in defrauding someone.
And everybody wants to get his share and most SARS operatives also want theirs. And if you refuse to pay them, there would be troubles.
There are informants in the bank who give wrong information about people to SARS personnel. And on many occasions, the SARS had been alleged for harassing people unjustly.
Just of recent, Nigerian youth took the barbaric treatments of innocent people in the hands of SARS to social media with the hashtag #EndSARS and protested against the security agency.
Changing the mindset
Western Union was never for scam.
Using the service for fraudulent activities was as a result of abuse and that happened as much as people defrauded their foreign friends.
The service is meant for international transactions – to transfer or receive money from one country or the other.
People only use it for different reasons. And those who use it to receive money from their gullible foreign friends are to be blamed not to be killed except the court orders.
Barbaric treatments of people in the hands of SARS in Nigeria is an indication that the operatives lack discipline. It shows that some of the operatives are compromised and people can’t have confidence in them.
I don’t support SARS should be abolished but regulated. To end SARS could be a Yahoo boys’ tactic to evade arrest.
If you’re an innocent do these 8 things to avoid SARS brutality.
If the agency is regulated, the bad eggs among them will be exposed. And that can make others demonstrate a high level of professionalism.
On the part of individuals that go to the bank, the current situation warrants a lot of caution.
Whenever, you have the cause to approach your bank for a similar transaction, most especially to receive funds from overseas, ensure you don’t leave the bank with cash.
Do everything you have to do online and make sure your transaction is clean.
The person attending to you might be a mole.
So, keep your eyes on him.
What is your own view about the barbaric treatments of innocent people in the hands of SARS? Do you support SARS should be ended?
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