By Olaiya Lateef
As the rank and file of Nigerians continue to react to the directive given by the Ag. President, that the controversial unit of the police force should be overhauled, two of the major stakeholders who are at the frontbunner of the campaign against the Special anti Robbery Squad excesses react to the directive from the presidency on a week days program at Rave FM studio, oshogbo.
Speaking on the Program, Mr Femi Olanipekun who interviewed, Amnesty international spokesperson, Mr Issa Sandi via a telephone conversation said ; “From yesterday there were story about changing the name of SARS to F-SARS, I think this is a cosmetic arrangement or measure which will not last long, we expect the Ag. President to again show leadership and tell Nigeria Police to do the right thing. What some Nigerians don’t know is that SARS is a unit of Nigeria Police force, but unfortunately the unit turns into a notorious, abuse of human right and it’s been used to molest Nigerians, extortion, extra judicial killing, torture and kind of maltreatment, what we want the government to do is that; all the allegations of abuse of Human Rights committed by SARS are thoroughly investigated and all officer found wanting must be brought to justice, I think this is the beginning, and this is one of the ways to end this abuse of Human Rights, because people know that they can always get away with it, and that’s why we are where we are now.
We are also asking Prof. Osinbajo to make sure that the reform is far reaching, corruption is one of the things fuelling their activities .
In our research in 2016, we realised the officers lobby for posting into SARS unit, because they see the unit as means of making money, and this is the reason even the Nigeria Police find it difficult to reform. SARS officers found wanting should either be punished or kick out of the system, further more in our investigation, we realised officers pay as much as three hundred thousands Naira (N300,000) to be posted to SARS, these are what the government should investigate and we want the handlers of SARS to be investigated too. ” he said.
Also his counterpart who is the convener of #ENDSARS, REFORM POLICE, Mr Segun Awosanya said; the directive should not be a play of words or semantics and we are going to monitor it and the campaign will continue until we begin to see the change we want to see”.
Speaking further on the Program Frank Talk on Rave FM, Oshogbo, the convener said “In fairness to the police the rollout action you are seeing is as a result of a closed door meeting we held on Sunday, so it’s not basically as a response to Ag. President’s directive and hortly after the program we held in commemoration of int’l youth day from Bello Korede initiative, after the meeting we agreed on some certain things, that the Police will come out with certain pronouncement via a communique which will outline what F-SARS should do and what they shouldn’t, and that’s what Nigeria Police rolled out ,though they rolled it out in compliance with the Ag. President’s directive .
Reformation of police is not what you can do within 48hours, and it’s not about changing the leadership of anything but what we are saying is that, it should be scrapped or end SARS that means, we don’t want to see any part of the old remaining in the system, they must be sent back to other places, if they can’t be reabsorbed, because they need evaluation of the entire system and overhaul means we are starting afresh from the foundation, because you can’t get something different from Reshuffling.”
We are saying this because there can’t be a militarised police system in a democracy, because even When we are deploying military men to a state, we declare state Of emergency to prepare civilians for what’s coming that’s why we give them from 7am to 5pm, so everybody would stay indoor so, that we can avoid human right abuse, because the military doesn’t understand democracy.
SARS are not meant to be running after Yahoo boys, because in the process they kill many innocent souls, so that’s not their job, ok what is then the role of EFCC? so Nigeria police should go the standard operative procedures of what the unit is meant for, the standard operating procedures is for the SARS to remain unseen, and when there is distress call they should tackle it and go back to where they are from, there are several units in the police force that are doing their works professionally .”
The President should bring all of us to the table, and we navigate it together,” he said.
This is an update to the story published earlier today.