Nigeria Police for Lagos State has said that young young people wearing dreadlocks and tattoo on their body have a high chance of getting arrested because it is believed that body art is connected to cultism.
However, the spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, DSP Bala Elkana, who spoke to BBC said, even though cultist sometimes carry dreadlocks and have tattoos on their body, it is not enough to harrass young people who carry them.
This is coming after the #EndSARS online campaign resurfaced after a young Nigerian, Kolade Johnson was shot by men of the Special Anti-Cultism Squad during a match-viewing in Lagos recently.
The police later identified the suspects of the shooting as Inspector Olalekan Ogunyemi and Sergeant Godwin Orji both attached to the Anti-Cultism Squad.
Young Nigerians have condemned the profiling by police officers who believe that mode of dressing is an effective way of identifying criminals.
According to Mr Bala Elkana, “tattoo and dreadlock is strange to our culture, especially in Nigeria.” He also suggested that the reason police officers target young people with tattoos and dreadlocks can be traced to the fact that, when cultists are arrested, tattoos and other insignia are found on their bodies.
He, however assured that men of the Special Anti-Cultism Squad have all been withdrawn from patrolling the streets of Nigeria.