Nigerian music star, Naira Marley had an Instagram live chat with the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, Frank Mba on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
The chat was organised 24 hours after the music star announced via his Twitter page that he was going to lead a protest on the brutality being meted on innocent young Nigerians by men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
The Instagram live which kicked off at exactly 11 am saw the music star interact with his fans and others who tuned in for the conversation.
Here are five points from the Instagram live chat between Naira Marley and Mba you should know.
1. Naira Marley disagreed with the disbandment of SARS
While the music star waited for the police PRO to join in on the Instagram live chat, he responded to questions and chats from people who wanted to satisfy their curiosity by being part of the conversation.
While reacting to the suggestions of some people who wanted the special police unit disbanded, Naira Marley disagreed with the idea. According to him, only armed robbers would want the special police removed from society.
2. Naira Marley likened SARS to America’s SWAT
The music star said the special police unit, SARS can be best likened to the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) of the United States of America. According to him, the military-like unit within the US police force is only seen during special operations.
He however called on the Nigerian police to replicate its special police unit to model that of the SWAT. He appealed to the police authorities to only make SARS visibly only during special operations. Mr Mba responded by saying SARS will continue to remain active in cases that involve robberies and kidnapping.
3. Men with dreadlocks and women wearing skimpy clothes aren’t criminals
Naira Marley appealed to the PRO of police to advise his men to desist from arresting and harassing young Nigerians because of their outfits. According to him, men with dreadlocks are not criminals. He also talked about women who have been harassed, arrested, and sometimes sexually assaulted by SARS because of their outfits.
4. Recording a police officer during a perceived harassment scene
A lot of times, Nigerians have recorded their interactions with men of SARS out of fear and for safety. This, however, has ended with more pains and humiliation as phones and other gadgets get destroyed by the overzealous police officers in the process.
Naira Marley asked Mr Mba if it was wrong to record a police officer during a stop and search. Mba replied by saying it is not a crime to record a police officer during a stop and search.
According to him, when a citizen becomes uncomfortable or perceives that the interaction with the police officer has gone beyond legality, it is okay to record the conversation. They should then report the erring officer(s) with the evidence.
5. The police appealed for well-meaning Nigerians to come to their aid
Mr Mba while answering questions from the music star, appealed to government agencies, corporate organisations, and wealthy Nigerians to come to the aid of the police force.
“I appeal to government agencies, corporate organisations, very rich Nigerians, the billionaires out there to invest a fraction of their wealth in improving the security architecture of this country. We don’t need their cash, we need vehicles, equipment, teasers for police officers to use instead of firing live bullets,” he said.