The creation of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team as replacement for the scrapped Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is hasty, governors said on Thursday.
They urged Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu to “immediately convene a meeting of all stakeholders”.
The governors made their position known on the raging protests across the country against the brutality by operatives of the defunct SARS, in a communiqué released after the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) meeting. The meeting was held on Wednesday in Abuja.
The protesters have also rejected the creation of SWAT which they described as SARS incarnate.
But the Inspector-General of Police has assured that no SARS operative will be accommodated in SWAT.
The communiqué, signed by NGF chairman Dr. Kayode Fayemi, confirmed that the IG briefed the meeting on the steps being taken.
Nevertheless, they said: “Even though the creation of SWAT might be necessary and in good faith, 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;
“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.
“Members also recommended that the IGP, the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Council should immediately review the remuneration and emoluments of police officers and explore ways to fund this in order to incentivize and motivate police officers who have pledged themselves in service of the country;