(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – In the wake of mounting nationwide protests against the highhanded dispositions of operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police Force, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, following series of meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and other critical stakeholders, scrapped the unit, with a promise to take further steps towards reforming the country’s police force.
However, despite the IGP’s action, protests have continued to accelerate across the country as Nigerians have upped the ante by demanding for a complete overhaul of the country’s system of policing as currently constituted, investigate past cases of human rights violations by SARS operatives against innocent civilians, and release of all arrested and detained #EndSARS protesters.
Below are five major reasons the #SARSMUSTGO# protests are continuing, despite the Scrapping of SARS:
1-.Nigerians view the proscription of SARS as just scratching on the surface of a much more visceral sore; a placatory effort by the authorities to subtly quell the ongoing demonstrations; a damage control strategy so to speak.
2-.Nigerians view the rank rot in SARS as a minute reflection of the endemic decay permeating the entire Nigerian police force, due to the fact that other units in the force are as culpable as SARS of most of the reprehensible issues raised by Nigerians.
3-.Nigerians fear that SARS could be reinvented in another form, despite the IGP’s pronouncement, due to the fact that some supposed reforms in the past did not yield positive fruits as the unit continued to wax stronger in its highhanded, largely extra-judicial activities.
4-. Nigerians are of the conviction that disbanding SARS will not automatically turn all police men into saints overnight as the same officers will be absolved into other units of the police force, or into the new unit that would be established to replace SARS
5-. In all, Nigerians feel that the problem of the police force is not just about the structures, but about the negative orientation of the operators of the structures. Nigerian Police personnel act with too much impunity that supposedly places them above the law. Nigerians want to see a police force staffed by individuals who work within the ambit of the law, have proper training and respect for the civil populace, the tax payers who pay their salaries and expect to be treated with some level of respect; a professionalized police force that is a friend and protector of the civil populace.
Conclusion: The cancer of draconian impunity traditionally exhibited by Nigerians police personnel can only end when the entire police force, not just a unit within it, is comprehensively reformed and all past injustices committed by its officers and men, not only those of SARS, against Nigerians are redressed. Only then will there be closure on this highly contentious matter.
God save Nigeria!
The struggle continues!
#EndSARS #SARSMUSTEND #EndPoliceBrutality