Amidst growing outrage over the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS), a special arm of the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Tuesday reaffirmed his determination to reform the special unit in order to curtail their excesses.
He however ruled out the possibility of scrapping the unit in view of the ongoing efforts to checkmate crimes in the country.
The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, DCP Frank Mba maintained that the Force is currently reforming the operations of SARS officers nationwide to curtail their excesses.
Mba, who spoke on Tuesday morning during an Instagram Live Chat with Nigerian artiste, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, encouraged Nigerians to take video recordings of SARS operatives who abuse their fundamental human rights “as long as it is safe to do so.”
The singer had cancelled a planned demonstration against SARS recklessness on Tuesday morning.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had banned SARS personnel from engaging in routine patrols, stop-and-search, mounting of roadblocks and traffic checks with immediate effect.
But the #EndSARSNotBanSARS hashtag continues to trend on social media.
Speaking on Tuesday, Mba said the IGP and the Force were committed to reforming SARS.
He said, “What we need to do is to reform SARS and make them responsive, responsible and make them to work in accordance with laid down procedures. We need them to continue to respond to violent crimes. We need them to continue to respond to armed robberies. We need them to continue to respond to kidnappings.”
Also, Naira Marley agreed that the special arm of the Police should not be scrapped but be reformed.
“You talk about #EndSARS, you cannot end SARS but let us ask for reform. Why do you want to end SARS? Are you an armed robber?” he told his followers.
He, however, stressed on the need to get SARS operatives off the roads. According to him, “SARS is a special arm that should only come out during robbery incidents.”
He advised those exhuming old videos of SARS harassment to desist from such act as it heats up the society.
The singer also urged the Police to give an update on SARS operatives that have been arrested and what has been done to compensate the families of the victims allegedly killed by SARS officers.