Following the dissolution of the Police Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Federal Government, the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have called for deeper reform of the Nigerian police Force.
The disbandment of the notorious police unit came after days of consecutive #ENDSARS protests by Nigerian youth over the unit’s excesses including harassments, extortion and killings.
Okowa in a statement on Sunday called the scrapping of the unit a victory for Nigerian youth but asked the Inspector General of Police to institute far reaching reform of the police.
He wrote on his Twitter handle: “Today, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, announced the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) nationwide. This disbandment is in response to the #EndSARS protests, which became a national and an international movement.
“This is a very welcome development and I commend the Inspector General of Police for acting in a decisive and prompt manner in responding to the legitimate concerns of all Nigerians.
“The Nigerian youth can take pride in the fact that they have won a major victory for the right to free movement and association.
“While commending the Police for their restraint during these protests, the disbandment of SARS is a visible demonstration of how government agencies should respond to the grievances of our people and their agitations for justice and good governance in a democracy.
“Finally, let me say that the IGP should not stop at disbanding SARS. That is the first step of the many that are required to carry out a comprehensive reform of the Nigerian Police Force.
“Such a reform should cover all matters that relate to recruitment, training and welfare of the rank and file”.
Also on Sunday, the APC said it welcomed Federal Government’s decision to disband the SARS and the reform of the Nigeria Police Force.
The party said this in a statement issued by Mr. Yekini Nabena, its Deputy National Publicity Secretary.
It said it viewed the responsive decision as a major and concrete step toward President Muhammadu Buhari’s affirmed resolve to achieve better policing and necessary reforms.
“From the recent #BlackLivesMatter social movement to other global clamours for review of police operations, particularly in regard to citizens they are empowered to protect the need for police reforms in Nigeria is urgent and continuous.
“With benefit of experience and public outcry over the operations of the disbanded SARS, the APC is confident that the new policing arrangement promised by the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed will balance the need to effectively combat armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country,” he said.
Nabena expressed optimism that the police reform would also ensure humane, professional and accountable police operations in the country.
He called on Nigerians to take advantage of the Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum formed to regularly interface with police leadership at all levels and advise on its activities as they affected the general public.