The United Kingdom has reacted to a recent comment credited to the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) regarding the funding of the disbanded Special Anti-Roberry Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.
Kanu, in a tweet on Friday, asked whether the UK had been financing the now scrapped police unit amid the alleged human rights violations by some of its personnel.
“Does it mean United Kingdom knowingly funded the notorious #SARS unit in Nigeria? Troubling!,” he tweeted.
His tweet followed a letter written by a British Parliamentarian, Kate Osamor, to the UK’ Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab.
She had in the letter stated that among other things, “there is a high risk that the NCA is providing support to units implicated in the abuses I’ve mentioned above.”
“Today I have written to the Foreign Secretary @DominicRaab asking him to urgently confirm that no development spending has found its way into SARs units in Nigeria, or any other units in Nigeria responsible for corruption and abuses,” she tweeted on Thursday, floating her letter.
But, in a reactionary tweet to Kanu on Friday, the British High Commission in Nigeria denied funding the SARS unit.
“No it doesn’t and no we haven’t,” it tweeted.
Despite the widespread protests against police brutality, many Nigerians are calling for reforms.
On its part, the Force had pledged to transform its unit to reflect the yearnings of Nigerians.
Not less than ten food vendors around the Enugu office of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) located at Golf Estate are counting their losses as the office, hitherto known for its liveliness, is gradually turning into a ghost village.
Although some security operatives in mufti were sighted there, the two entrances to the station were closed, and no vehicular movement was allowed there when our correspondent visited the station on Friday.
— Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (@MaziNnamdiKanu) October 16, 2020
Although none of the traders agreed to speak on record or mention their names, it was observed that it was not business as usual. The seats were virtually empty, except at a pub said to be owned by the wife of one of the operatives where our correspondent saw some scanty people drinking and cracking jokes.
An attendant at one of the joints told THE WHISTLER that, “What always kept us busy used to be people that have cases in the station. They would come with their lawyers and other stakeholders to settle one matter or the other. They always sit out with the operatives handling their cases in our shops. But with the recent development, no one comes again, and it is affecting our businesses. On a very good day, we begin to make sales as early as 7:30am when visitors begin to buy foods for some inmates. I believe the new formation they are creating will be located here so that the money I spent in renting this shop won’t be in vain.”
Another seller said, “SARS people are doing good work. I don’t know why they disbanded them. If you see how they were arresting criminals here, you would understand what I mean. But I believe that something good will happen to us because the business I do here has blessed me and my family very well. It will be hard to get another place like this. The time now is 11am, and I have not sold anything. Before now, you won’t find a space in my shop by this time. I pray for God’s intervention. Our only source of hope is now the labourers who patronize us, but again, they are few.”
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