Traders in Nnewi markets in Anambra State on Monday expressed joy over the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the nation.
They described the development as long over due, advocating for the reformation of the regular police to give them a human face.
Speaking on behalf of the traders, Chairman of Fairly Used Motor Parts Dealers Association, Mr Chinedu Enyeribe recounted his personal encounter with the outlawed security operatives, noting that the development was a big relief to both traders and non traders alike.
He said, “I had a personal encounter with the SARS sometime ago when a trader who sold goods to me legally decided to hurt me for no just cause. He took me to SARS and the operatives wanted to extort money from me but I refused.
“I called my lawyer and they chased him away and pushed me into the cell and even threatened to kill me if I refused to “co-operative”. Those in the cell advised me to just co-operative with them otherwise they might carry out their threat and I did that to save my life.”
According to Enyeribe, the protest across the country was a clear indication that the operatives were no longer needed in the system.
“Even the modus operandi of the regular police was anchored on intimidation and extortion. For the Police, the accused will be automatically guilty before he or she could be proved otherwise.
On his part, leader of Nkwo Nnewi Butchers Association, Chief Kirian Okafor noted that the aims and objectives backing the creation of SARS had long been defeated.
“Disbandment or reformation are all good policies but will they be implemented? Who were the beneficiaries of those illegal monies the outlawed operatives were collecting from their victims with impunity?
“Even the regular police bribe their authorities to be posted to a particular town or community because of the “viability” of the area, ” he added.