Executive Director, CACOL, Debo Adeniran
By Raphael Ekpang
Following the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a civil society group, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has commended the President Mohammadu Buhari led administration for listening to the voice of the masses.
The Executive Director of CACOL, Debo Adeniran reacting on the dissolution of SARS said, Buhari has proven that he has a listening ear, but called for an immediate set up of another unit that will be tackling highways robbery, yahoo boys as well as other criminal elements in the country.
Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, recently announced the dissolution of SARS sequel to widespread protests over allegations of brutality and human rights violations by the squad.
The IGP who spoke at a press conference noted that the current developments and the outcry by sections of Nigerian have remained under constant monitoring and due assessment by the government.
He also explained that the government acknowledges the inalienable rights of citizens to freedom of association and expression.
“The Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police, otherwise known as SARS, is hereby dissolved across all formations, the 36 state police command and the Federal Capital Territory where they currently exist,” Adamu said.
“The dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people”.
“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”.
However, Adeniran opined that they (civil society organizations) had earlier called for SARS reform and not outright ban because there is no country that can exist without the police. He said, though lots of the officers have derailed from the core mandate of their operation, it was not enough to dissolve the unit completely.
“The dissolution at this point is appropriate in order to dowse down tension that the recent actions of SARS officers has generated, but the government should not waste time in setting up another unit that will takes care of emergency, especially on the highway or in the communities where the criminals are wreaking havoc,” he said.
Meanwhile, he stated that SARS’ officers actually had courage when it has to do with tackling armed robbers, perhaps they thought the sacrifice they have put in combating criminals sometime they should be dirtier even when they are dealing with innocent Nigerians.