End SARS as a Mob Project

The campaign demanding an end to the deployment of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), a detachment of the police force, following alleged high-handedness and abuse of power continued last week with supporters of the SARS too staging a counter-rally, which called for the retention of the squad.

There is no debating the fact that some of the SARS operatives had become law unto themselves, perpetrating the unthinkable, ostensibly in the course of discharging their duties. Therefore, the campaign when initially ignited was timely and instructive. But even more commendable was the response of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who immediately ordered a re-organisation of the detachment for efficiency and professionalism, showing immense sensitivity to the mood of the nation. But to further push for an outright scrapping of SARS may be asking for too much or better still, seeking the impossible at this material time.

The SARS operatives are not totally useless as the campaign seems to represent. They had busted a lot of crimes and restored sanity in many instances. Therefore, isolated cases of a few ‘criminals’ or the ill-behaved amongst them should not be generalised or form the basis to write them all off. That a few Nigerians are corrupt should not be taken by foreigners that all Nigerians are. All that the SARS and indeed, the entire police force require is genuine reform that is comprehensive and not scrapping it outright.

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