By Chuks Okocha
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) yesterday said that it received with great relief and satisfaction the decision by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, to ban the operations of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and a range of other Tactical Squads of the Force, with immediate effect.
In a statement issued by the Chairman of the governors forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi, he said the governors are completely in agreement with the directive of the IG that “no personnel of the Force is authorised to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti” forthwith.
According to Fayemi, “This, in our view, will significantly reduce the various infractions of the Force that the ordinary Nigerians have been complaining about and bring an end to the menace of SARS brutality on the people they are meant to protect.”
He said the IG’s instructions could not have come at a better time when majority of Nigerians are unhappy with this cohort of police officers who have routinely engaged in unlawful killings and torture, thereby giving the Force a bad name.
He said it is helpful to recall that SARS has been cautioned in the same manner before only for it to go back to its old ways.
“Our young people should not be criminalised simply on account of how they look or their mode of dressing or the cars they drive or the type of phone they carry, among other patterns. This is an assault on their fundamental human rights,” the governor said.
Fayemi added: “We think this is a timely clinical response by the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force, and must specially commend IG Adamu for his promptness and boldness. However, it is our hope that the announcement this time will promptly be followed by action, and that there will be no reversal to the unorthodox enforcement practices being complained against.”
The governors called for appropriate sanctions against law enforcement officers who have been lawless and irresponsible in exercising their duties against ordinary Nigerians.