Okon Bassey in Uyo

The newly posted Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, has condemned those calling for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the country, saying the unit remained relevant to the overall success of the police in combating violent crimes.

In his maiden press briefing yesterday at the Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan-abia, Ogunjemilusi described those calling for disbandment of SARS as not well informed.

He admitted that re-organisation of the unit and other tactical units of the command for better service delivery remained a priority for him in line with the guidelines being implemented by the Inspector General of Police (IG).
According to the state police boss, the unit remained the only arm of the police that contain violent crimes, assuring the people that the IG who has already set up a committee to reform the unit and remained desirous of an overall improved security architecture for the country.

“Nigerians calling for the disbandment of SARS have not suffered violent crimes. You can imagine how you will feel when you lose a loved one overnight to criminals. So I believe they are doing so out of ignorance.

“SARS is useful, but needs re-organisation to make it better. Instead of disbanding them, Nigerians should even call for a special fund for them and their families.

“They should have an improved condition of service because they are the most attacked of all the police units,” he stressed.

The commissioner, who promised an improved welfare for officers and men of the force, however warned that such would not be an excuse for extortion, adding that the police code of conduct should remain the guide for all officers and men of the force.

On efforts to contain the recent jail break at Ikot Ekpene prisons, he noted that security has been beefed up at the facility in collaboration with other security agencies while some of the convicts who escaped have been arrested.

He said the command would build on the existing cordial relationship between it and the public for improved security in the area and work with the government to create an enabling environment for job and wealth creation, industrialisation and constructive engagement of the youths.

“It is therefore my vision to make Akwa Ibom the safest state in the country. To that effect, I have reviewed the security architecture of the state and had brainstorming sessions with my principal officers to reposition the command for effective service delivery.

“The command under my watch will be guided by three principals of integrity, professionalism and quality service delivery. This is in line with the vision of the IG. This is also in tandem with the vision of the state government,” he added.