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‘We’ve Heard That Before’ – Nigerians React As IGP Bans F-SARS, IRT, Other Tactical Squads

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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday, 4th October, 2020 announced the immediate ban of the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc.

This comes in response to the series of online protests against the indiscriminate and unjustified actions of the SARS operatives by Nigerians with the hashtag #EndSARS.

The most recent call for the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other such inits to be disbanded follows the alleged killing of a man around Wetland Hotel, Ughelli in Delta State.

Information gathered revealed that the operatives allegedly shot the young man on Saturday and left the scene.

However, Festus Keyamo the Minister of State, Labour and Employment has asked Nigerians to disregard the reports that some officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS shot to death one person in Ughelli, Delta State.

According to the Minister in a thread of tweets on his microblogging site account on Sunday, October 4, men of the controversial unit of the Nigeria Police Force didn’t kill anybody as alleged in some quarters.

Keyamo noted that the Delta State Police Commissioner and a sibling to the alleged victim, Ochuko confirmed that his brother is not dead.

He, however, disclosed that the man attacked was alive and currently been treated. The minister noted further that the attack was not carried out by SARS officials but by operatives of the Operation Delta Safe.

Nigerians on different occasions have called for an end to SARS due to their actions which have led to the death of innocent Nigerians or seen some assaulted.

It will also be recalled that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in August 2018, directed the then Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to overhaul SARS management and activities following persistent complaints and reports of human rights violations by SARS.

Such previous steps taken by the government to curb the excesses of the SARS operatives seems not to have yielded the desired results, forcing fresh calls for the #EndSARS campaign.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba in a statement on Sunday, 4th October noted that in response to the fresh calls, the IGP has directed among other adjustments that no personnel of the Force is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti. They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.

The IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices. They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.

Following the fresh order, Nigerians have taken to Twitter to express their views on the development, with some expressing pessimism on the expected effect of the fresh orders in curbing the excesses of SARS operatives.
Some Nigerians are also demanding the total disbanding of the SARS unit.

See some of people’s reactions:

Source: Naija News

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