Suspected hoodlums on Monday hijacked the #EndSARS Protests in Benin City, Edo State capital.
According to an interview by Channels Television with the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media, Crusoe Osagie said that the hoodlums exchanged fire with security operatives at the Maximum prison in Benin City.
His statement: “The hoodlums are currently exchanging fire with the security personnel at the Maximum security prison in Oko, Benin City,” Osagie told Channels Television.
The hoodlums can be seen in videos invading the Benin Medium security prison on Sapele Road, releasing some inmates.
Three police stations were reported to have been burnt by the hoodlums.
Some of the police stations affected include the Ugbekun and Idogbo Police Stations in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state.
-Protest Against Police Brutality-
The #EndSARS protests calling for an end to police brutality; extrajudicial killings and scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) – a unit of the police force notorious for human rights abuse – have continued for over 12 days.
Nigeria’s police chief, Mohammed Adamu, had on heels of the disbandment of SARS, announced a new tactical unit – Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) – to replace the scrapped arm of the force.
Irked by the move, more Nigerians trooped to the streets, calling for the rejection of the new unit.
Using the #EndSWAT hashtag on the social media platform, Twitter, the protesters believe the new arm of the police would be no different from the disbanded SARS.
They argue that the introduction of SWAT is ill-timed and does not align with their demands for a reformation of the country’s policing system.