After days of persistent protests by youths nationwide against the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, yesterday, disbanded the unit.
Announcing the disbandment, the Police boss assured Nigerians of a determination to accelerate reforms of the Police system, saying, “I assure the nation of our firm determination to advance our police reform agenda, with a view to bequeathing to our beloved nation, a police institution and system that are not only accountable to the citizens but professional in all components of its service delivery.
“I call on all citizens to partner with us in our drive for a peaceful and secure internal security order.”
Prior to the announcement of the ban by the police chief, #EndSARS protesters had clashed with the police in the Federal Capital City, FCT, Abuja, with the civil servants dispersing them with tear gas. The protesters had in the last four days protested at Force headquarters, insisting on getting the IGP to address and assure them of the scrapping of the special police unit.
Also, to avoid a reoccurrence of the ugly situation that led to the dissolution of SARS, the IGP said a forum is being formed to regularly interface with the police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.
The IGP added that a new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution of SARS would cause has been evolved and shall be announced in due course.
“In the finest spirit of democratic, citizen-centered and community policing, the IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has today, 11th October 2020, dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed.
“The IGP, while noting that the dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people, observes that by this dissolution, all officers and men of the now-defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad are being redeployed with immediate effect.
“The IGP notes that the Force is 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 assures that a new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution of SARS would cause has been evolved and shall be announced in due course.
“Meanwhile, as part of measures to prevent a re-occurrence of events that gave rise to the dissolution of SARS, a Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum is 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 Organizations 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 appreciates and commends all citizens particularly those who genuinely express their concerns for a better policing orientation in an organized, patriotic, and civil manner. He reaffirms the determination of the Force to bequeath to the country a Police Force and System that is professional in service delivery and most importantly, accountable to the people,” the full statement read.