Bolt Denies Involvement With SARS As Allegations And Distrusts Continue To Rise
Ride hailing startup, Bolt, formerly called Taxify, has denied having any involvement with the defunct police unit, SARS. Yet, allegations that the companies drivers collude with the terrorist police group continues to rise.
On 13th October 2020, the Nigerian arm of Bolt offered 50% discount for up to 10,000 users. It used the promo code, “SOROSOKE”; a phrase that protesters of the #EndSARS hashtag use when calling on big establishments to support their cause.
However, many Twitter users are advising protesters against using the code or even patronising Bolt drivers at all. Some of the Tweets read:
Bolt drivers are kidnapping and taking people to SARS!!!
They slashed the price so people can fall for it and be made scapegoats!!!
Rt aggressively and save people’s lives.#SARSMUSTENDNOW #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria
— Precious baby🦋 (@preshsantos) October 13, 2020
BOLT RIDERS ARE KIDNAPPING PEOPLE! THEY ARE TAKING THEM TO SARS OFFICE!#ENDSARSOPPRESSION
— Premium Ada 5G💅🏾💥 (@Ada_Daddyya) October 13, 2020
Someone is calling me a liar when this bolt thing has happened to me before. Midnight, coming from the club and I asked driver why he was passing a different route and mans said because of police. Guess who delivered us to sars and left?? Yes the driver
— KING •👑 (@Otedola_) October 13, 2020
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Bolt has been facing this allegations of its drivers intentionally taking people to routes manned by a unit of the now defunct SARS force. The company issued an official statement on the issue on 4th October 2020 where it denied having any secret pact with the Nigerian police.
According to the statement, Bolt said a passenger had reported one of their drivers being ‘complicit’ in a situation that led SARS to illegally collect N100,000 from them. Bolt says that the driver denied having any prior knowledge of the incident and said he only had to comply with the SARS officers that stopped them.
Additionally, the company claims to have encouraged the aggrieved passenger to report the case to police authorities while assuring the person that it would submit all necessary details to assist with the investigation. It says it never got a formal request.
“The fears of police brutality and harassment are universal concerns for our communities and we share in thes pains. It remains Bolt’s heartfelt view that everyone in Nigeria has the right to travel safely and to earn a living safely … we will continue to explore opportunities to contribute our voices to demanding accountability from those tasked with protecting us,” it wrote.
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