Among the protesters were student union leaders of the University of Benin who were seen coordinating the demonstration. Some stranded commuters also joined the protest and pledged their support for the expected reforms in the Force.
Commuters and motorists were stranded along the Benin-Lagos Expressway on Thursday as youths blocked the road in protest against the brutality and extrajudicial killings of the operatives of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.
The atmosphere was carnival-like at the ever-busy highway especially opposite the University of Benin with DJs blasting popular revolutionary songs of Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Idris Abdlukareem and several other popular artists.
Some policemen who came to the scene stayed away from the protesters who conducted themselves peacefully while the demonstration lasted for hours.
The President, Students Union Government of the University, Comrade Egwu Benjamin said, “We are adding our voice to what has been happening across the country and we are demanding an end of SARS. We are saying end SARS and they are giving us SWAT.
What we are saying is that we want police reforms. The government can do better; it should bring in more intellectuals and graduates into the police. If this is done, more people will become interested in joining the Police. We were told Nigeria is the giant of Africa but now I can’t see our height. What we are saying is end SARS, end SWAT and give us a reformed police.”
A traveller, who simply identified himself as Osarobo, said he couldn’t help but join in the protest.
“I may be stranded right now but I am not frustrated because this is an overdue cry to reform the police force and not just SARS. Let police be well paid and see whether POS won’t stop on highways,” he said.