By Ovie Okpare
Thousands of #EndSARS protesters on Wednesday took to the streets of Warri and Effurun in Delta State to protest the formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The protesters also claimed that the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the IGP was not enough, stressing that there was need for a total overhauling of the police structure nationwide.
The peaceful protest which started at the popular Delta Mall Effurun housing Shoprite saw the the protesters majorly youths chanting anti-police assault songs through the popular Enerhen Junction and Estate Roundabouts.
The protest attended by activists and Warri-based celebrities caused vehicular gridlock along major streets of the two cities.
It was the second time the #EndSARS protest is holding in Warri.
The protesters bearing placards with various inscriptions such as “End Police Brutality,” Stop Killing Us,” End SWAT, End SARS,” We said EndSARS, not change them” and Stop harassing me”, chanted that SWAT was another name for the disbanded SARS.
One of the protesters, Igho Tietie, who addressed the mammoth crowd, said Nigerians satisfied with efforts taken so far by President Muhammadu Buhari and the IGP on the allegation levelled against operatives of the disbanded SARS and other police officers.
He said Nigerian youths are demanding for concrete and feasible efforts at restructuring the Nigeria Police Force including the under payment of police officers by the Nigerian government.
Tietie said, “we don’t want SARS or SWAT. What is the difference? What we want is a total overhaul of the Police. We are asking for an end to Police brutality. The disbanded officers should undergo psychological treatment.
“We are also asking the Federal Government to review the salaries of these officers to what their counterparts across the world earn.
“They have no regard for human lives, they have no regard for constituted authority, the laws that brought them in to work and protect lives, Nigerian lives. They are not upholding that law. Instead we at like sheep for the slaughter. Enough of that!”
The Uvwie council chairman, Ramson Onoyake, who attempted to address the protesters was turned at the popular Jakpa and Airport Junctions.
The protest was monitored by security operatives including police.