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Why IGP disbands SARS nationwide

… disbandment reaffirms Buhari's police reforms resolve - APC

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday announced the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) nationwide.

A nationwide protest against the anti-robbery squad’s atrocities has been on for several days, with the protesters demanding outright disbandment of its operations over incessant killings of innocent Nigerians.

Adamu announced it dissolution across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The IGP, while noting that the dissolution of SARS was in response to the desires of Nigerians, said by this dissolution, all officers and men of the now defunct SARS were being redeployed with immediate effect.

The Force was not oblivious of the ever present need to combat armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country, which was before now the core mandate of the erstwhile Squad, he said.

But assured that a new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution would cause had been evolved and shall be announced in due course.

However, as part of measures to prevent a re-occurrence of events that gave rise to the dissolution, a Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum was being formed to regularly interface with Police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.

“In addition, the Force is constituting an Investigation Team, which shall include Civil Society Organisations and Human Rights Bodies to work with the Police in investigating alleged cases of human rights violations.

“The measure, the IGP believes, will enhance transparency and accountability in police services as well as providing a system of deterrence for erring police officers whose action clearly violates the rights of the citizenry,” the IGP said.

The IGP commended Nigerians, particularly those who genuinely expressed their concerns for a better policing orientation in an organised, patriotic and civil manner.

He reaffirmed the determination of the Force to bequeath to the country a Police Force and System that was professional in service delivery and most importantly, accountable to the people.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has welcomed the disbandment of the Squad, viewing the decision as a major and concrete step towards President Muhammadu Buhari affirmed resolve to achieve better policing and necessary reforms.

Reacting to this, APC in a statement by its deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, said from the recent #BlackLivesMatter social movement to other global clamours for review of Police operations, particularly in regard to citizens they were empowered to protect, the need for Police reforms in Nigeria was urgent and continuous.

The APC spokesman noted: “With benefit of experience and public outcry over the operations of the now disbanded SARS, the APC is confident that the new policing arrangement promised by the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed will balance the need to effectively combat armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country and ensure humane, professional and accountable police operations.

“We call on Nigerians to take advantage of the Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum which is being formed to regularly interface with Police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.”

Innocent Odoh and James Kwen, Abuja

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