After days of public outcry and nationwide protests, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday, bowed to strain and disbanded the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad. He stated a new policing arrangement to address armed theft and different violent crimes that fall inside the mandate of the dissolved tactical unit would be in due course. Announcing the choice at the Force headquarters, Abuja on Sunday, Adamu stated the inalienable rights of citizens to freedom of association and expression.
But the #EndSARS campaigners said they would not again now down, insisting that the road rallies would continue till the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), issued an Executive Order scrapping the police tactical unit. A chief of the protesters, Raphael Adebayo, in a smartphone interview, stated the IG was once being “clever with the aid of half” with his announcement that the SARS had been dissolved, noting that the #EndSARS campaigners have been now not satisfied by using his statement. The activist, who is a Co-convener of the Centre for Liberty, Abuja, endorsed a total overhaul and reform of the Nigeria Police Force.
“We are not going to be fooled by using the IG’s announcement. The President ought to both tackle Nigerians with the aid of announcing through a govt order, that he is disbanding the terrorist unit in the Nigeria Police Force or greater protest would manifest and it would proceed to develop until the President takes responsibility. “At the stop of the day, this is deeper than ending SARS; this is about getting justice for all the humans killed by way of SARS and the IG’s statement did not address that.” Also, the Convener, #RevolutionNow Movement, Omoyele Sowore, stated the protesters did not agree with that the scrapping of SARS was once real, noting that some policemen nevertheless burdened protesters in Abuja on Sunday, quickly after the IG’s statement.
“As I’m speaking with you, there is an ongoing protest in Abuja and it is massive. They are heading to the Force headquarters because they are not convinced that the dissolution of SARS is real. People are very sceptical, cynical about the announcement,” the former presidential candidate said.
Sowore harassed that the #EndSARS campaign was once also a demand for compensation for victims of police brutality and rights violations, adding that they also desired the errant operatives to be publicly prosecuted. But the convener, #EndSARS Lagos, Olorunrinu Oduala, said her group would halt their protest, having decided to provide the police and the government the benefit of the doubt on the introduced SARS dissolution. Oduala said, “All I comprehend is that they have scrapped SARS; although we are skeptical because this same authorities has promised us a number of things in the past and failed on these promises however we will supply them the advantage of the doubt.”
Earlier the IG had described the #EndSARS agitation as a manifestation of the natural wish of the citizens to take part in matters concerning policing and inside safety in the nation. The police boss disclosed that the clamour for the scrapping of the SARS as a unit in the Nigeria Police Force had been underneath regular monitoring and due assessment via the government. Adamu said, “Following a evaluate of the cutting-edge traits and in due focus of the wide and legitimately-held concerns of well-meaning residents on the existence and operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, as a responsive and citizens-oriented Police Force, it is hereby directed as follows:
“The Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police, in any other case acknowledged as SARS, is hereby dissolved throughout all Formations, the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory, where they presently exist. “All officers and guys currently serving in the unit are to be redeployed with instantaneous effect. “New policing arrangements to address the offences of armed robbery, and other violent crimes that fall inside the mandate of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad shall be introduced in due course.” The IG referred to that a Citizens and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum would be formed to regularly interface with the leadership of the police at all ranges and advocate on police activities.
Meanwhile, a cameraman with Arise Television, identified as Francis, was once injured all through an assault with the aid of policemen on protesters in Abuja. The cameraman was returning from overlaying the IG’s press briefing at the Force headquarters when a projectile allegedly fired through the police hit his head. A footage showing the cameraman’s bleeding head was shared on social media. Many cars belonging to the protesters parked by way of the Ministry of Women Affairs constructing were allegedly vandalised by means of the police. Their tyres have been stated to have been slashed with the aid of the operatives. Reacting to the dissolution of SARS, the Amnesty International stated the move used no longer enough and fell short of the demand for accountability and justice for victims of police abuse and rights violations.
The Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, stated, “For a sustainable and long-lasting change, the police authorities have to take the following steps:
“Immediate investigation and prosecution of all police officers who have been accused of grave human rights violations such as extrajudicial executions, torture, and other ill-treatment.
“A clear and concise timeline for the implementation of the reforms to quit police atrocities is key to safeguarding trust between Nigerians and the authorities.
The National Human Rights Commission, however, applauded the announced disbandment of SARS.
The NHRC Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu, stated the disbandment had set the stage for the implementation of the report of the presidential investigative panel submitted to the President in June 2019.O jukwu recalled that the panel, which he headed, had recommended, amongst others, the dissolution of the police unit.
He said, “With the initial and proper step to disband SARS through the IGP as section of the guidelines of the Presidential Panel, the stage is now set to enforce the different hints of the panel and in this regard, the government had requested the fee to constitute a broad-based implementation committee, inclusive of relevant government organizations and civil society groups to ensure the transparent, comprehensive and to blame implementation of the white paper on the presidential panel report.”
In a announcement on Sunday titled, “#EndSARS: APC Welcomes Police Reform,” ruling All Progressives Congress counseled the IG for the announced disbandment of SARS.
The APC Deputy Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, said the choice represented “President Muhammadu Buhari’s affirmed resolve to achieve better policing and integral reforms.”