WASHINGTON DC (The T.A. Report) ― Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Police Force, is the second most feared ‘thing’ by citizens of the country, new research has shown.
A copy of the study, released on Monday by the United Nations Phobia Research Agency (UNPRA), was obtained by the T.A. Report.
Its findings, based on an extensive poll and data mined from news reports as well as social media platforms, show that the terrorist group, Boko Haram, remains the most frightening phenomenon in Nigeria since it launched its military campaign ten years ago.
Curiously taking second place, however, is the police unit established to combat robbery in the country. Coincidentally, it was founded around the same time as the extremist group.
“It has never happened before that an agency of government under a democratic rule will instil so much fear in the hearts of the people,” said Gregor Lannister, president of UNPRA.
“Since we started publishing this study in 1987, we have not seen people complain about a police unit as though it were some offshoot of Al-Qaeda or ISIS.”
Meanwhile, the report also disclosed that the third most fearsome phenomenon to Nigerians is visa application denial. Equally on the list were herdsmen, traffic congestion, underpants disappearance, queues (especially for elections), food insufficiency at parties, good leadership, and flat mobile phone batteries.
When we contacted Garba Shehu, senior special adviser to the president on media, he politely pleaded to be given some time to react as “everyone at the villa is busy with the election tribunal problem”.
“We are still trying to prove Atiku is not a Nigerian and you know how difficult that is getting by the day,” he explained. “Please call me again after the swearing-in ceremony in May.”
Awarded most sophisticated gang in Africa
The UNPRA report is coming on the heels of encomiums and awards showered on the (in)famous police department, whose officials are known for their black uniforms, inquisitiveness, thug-like appearances, and fondness for ATMs.
On Friday, SARS received an award from the Black Axe Confraternity, also called the Neo-Black Movement of Africa, as the 2018 ‘Most Sophisticated Gang’ on the continent. The president of the group, Adewale Badoo, in presenting the award at the confraternity’s annual convention in Abuja, said SARS “has distinguished itself as one of the most dreaded cults in the world”.
“What stands them out though is that they are able to operate in the open and have penetrated government such that their weapons and uniforms are bought using state resources,” he’d added.
“How cool is that, huh?” Badoo asked with a beaming face, directing the question to no one in particular.
SARS operatives, reports have shown, have advanced techniques through which they easily detect criminal suspects.
The same way anti-terrorism squads are always on the lookout for explosives, a security expert told our reporter, the operatives have a special nose for such red flags as expensive smart phones and laptops, uncommon hairstyles, full beards, and tattoos—really, anything young-looking, modern, or expensive.
There have been widespread campaigns for the ban of the establishment, but it appears Nigeria’s head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, has turned deaf ears to the clamours.
Rumour has it that the #EndSARS campaign on Twitter may have been presented as #SendSARS in security and media reports that make it to the president’s desk.
Caveat: Note that this piece is a fictional satire aimed purely at humour. The words above are nothing but products of a drunk writer’s imagination. We hereby refuse to accept responsibility for the results of anyone’s credulity or mischief. Do not take us serious. We repeat; do not take us serious! … On second thought though, maybe you should do just that.