Govs Urge IG to Halt Action on SWAT Till After Consultation With Stakeholders

  • Insist rogue officers must be prosecuted

By Chuks Okocha

After a meeting with the 36 states’ governors, the Inspector General of Police. Mohammed Adamu was advised to halt further action on the proposed Special Weapon and Tactical Team (SWAT) until after consultation with all stakeholders.

The governors argued that the quick transition from FSARS to the Special Weapon and Tactical Team (SWAT) was seen as merely dressing FSARS in another garb.

A communique of the meeting between the governors and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, signed by the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said, “On the IGP’s plan to create SWAT, Governors stated that even though the effort might be necessary and in good faith, they argued that the timing is inauspicious as the mood of the nation negates it and may understandably be misinterpreted as a surreptitious move to dress FSARS in another garb”.

Accordingly, the communique of the meeting further said, “Governors agreed that there was need for greater consultation with the public before any decision is taken; Governors advised the IGP to immediately convene a meeting of all stakeholders and agree on a format of engagement with all State officials in order to address concerns; and that State leadership should meet simultaneously nationwide, to address matters arising.”

However, the communique said that the “governors were unanimous in their support for the IGP and endorsed his plan to carry out far-reaching reforms geared towards greater effectiveness, accountability and transparency; Members called for increased regularity in the meetings of the Nigeria Police Council in order for it to effectively carry out its regulatory and supervisory roles as contained in the Nigerian Constitution;”

The meeting stated that the governors emphasized that reforms must include the training and retraining of operatives on the rules of engagement with the general public; adding that Policing in Nigeria must ensure freedom for all Nigerians to carry out their lawful and legitimate businesses anywhere in the country without fear of harassment, intimidation or molestation;

Also, the governors advised that throughout the reform process, the room for consultation may include sessions and direct feedback from the public, stressing that there is no single solution that applies to all the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The communique of the meeting said that the “governors were unequivocal that all police officers who participated in the abuse or actions that might have led to injury or the death of innocent citizens must be fished out and brought to book while other Nigerians who have been adversely affected by police brutality or other actions that were injurious to them or their loved ones, should be compensated”

The communique of the meeting stated that “each state is to set up a panel for compensation to all victims and see to it that the necessary compensation is made to those who deserve them. This must be systematically done to ensure that nobody who deserves to be compensated, is left out.”

Details later…