By ANDREW ESSIEN ABUJA
Against the mounting calls for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Citizens Action For Good Governance, a nongovernmental organization, has called on the Inspector General Of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu to ignore calls for the shutdown and end of the security unit.
The coalition insisted that the scrapping of the unit will amount giving criminal gangs a free hand to unleash terror on innocent Nigerians just as it suggested that the police high command to ensure regular medical checks for SARS operatives “to identify those with mental issues, psychological challenges, drug addiction, and others, in order to prevent unnecessary provocations, intimidations and oppression”.
Addressing a journalists on Friday in Abuja, National Coordinator of the group, Nazir Galadanchi also cautioned against playing into the hands of Fifth Columnists who he said had been seeking a way of weakening national security, even though he conceded that the uncouth behaviour of some members of the security unit against Nigerian youths has fuelled the current outcry for the disbandment of the unit, “there is no need to be in a hurry to end SARS because of few bad eggs who have given the unit a bad name and put it in a bad light before the world”. He said.
“We have taken special note of the public outcry against SARS and observed with all sense of responsibility that there should be a productive reformation of not only SARS operations but the entire operations of all units of the Nigeria Police Force.
“We urge Nigerians to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as the reformation of SARS is the required recipe for taming crimes and enhance security of lives and property.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the necessity to abate the preponderance of armed robberies on highways, towns and communities led to the formation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad which is a unit under the Nigeria Police Force.
“Those agitating for the outright scrapping of the Unit are definitely oblivious of the consequences of their agitations on the fight against armed robbery and other heinous crimes bedeviling the society at large. The Country is presently facing serious security challenges. We urge well-meaning Nigerians to be pragmatic and rise up to join the advocacy for the reformation of SARS to achieve optimal productivity and not get carried away by the phantasmagoria of deceits by sinister forces under the guise of #EndSARS.
“We acknowledge the excesses of the overzealous operatives of SARS and it’s our fervent hope that those bad elements will be flushed out of the Police Force by the Inspector General of Police and made to face the law for abuse and brutality against many innocent Nigerians who were victims of circumstances. In corollary, we charge law-abiding Nigerians to be wary of the antics of subterranean forces with determination to create upheavals in the polity through the end of SARS agitations. Ending SARS means giving license to Armed Robbers to unleash terror”, the group submitted.