A Nigerian journalist covering the activities of the Super Eagles has recounted how members of the Special Anti-robbery Squad in Uyo harassed him with an intention to extort him.
Following the #EndSARS campaign against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a sports reporter and presenter at Sports Radio Brila FM, Ohagwu Timon Chukwuemeka, has recounted his encounter with the security operatives while returning from Uyo, Akwa Ibom state where he had gone to cover the World Cup qualifiers against Zambia.
SARS operatives have been accused by Nigerians of brutality, molestation and extortion – hence the campaign to ‘end the anti-robbery unit’.
Read below what the Sports presenter, Chukwuemeka shared on Facebook;
My SARS Experience
I was returning from Uyo after the World Cup qualifiers against Zambia. Somewhere along the journey, I decided to buy bottle water to quench my thirst, then the film started
Act One, Scene One: It was a SARS check point, and I was buying one bottle water with 1000 naira, the guy’s eyes came alive, and he said to me, “Starboy abeg come down come show me your bag”
Well, even as a journalist I understand not to argue with anyone with a gun adiamama, so I came down, showed him my bag. He signalled the others like, “Maga don land”
They became courteous, carried my bags for me into their office, one of them started questioning me, “Confess wetin dey your bag before we start to search”, I had nothing on me and did not know how they would react if I told them I was a journalist, so I held back and allowed them play their hand..
One of them rushed in, overtly excited and screamed at the one questioning me, “Collect him phone search am na, na Starboy wey him be”… I decided I had had enough, and told them I was a journalist who went to Uyo to cover the Super Eagles game, the mood in room changed immediately, then I brought out my ID, in that moment they discovered I was a pressman
The man who rushed into the room was crestfallen, he left immediately in disappointment, obviously to go look for the next victim, the one questioning me looked at me and said, “Super Eagles win nahh, na una Amaju give all the money, me self nah Nigerian”
In that moment, the one at the checkpoint walked into the room and said,, “Oga Pressman, make we at least share that water change”, as an Eko boy, I knew there was no leaving there without parting ways with something, so with 500naira and a handshake the producer screamed cut, and the movie was over…
I was lucky, many others are not that lucky, though I believe a whollistic reform is more realistic…
I nevertheless join millions of Nigerians to say #ENDSARSNOW