Creation of SWAT hasty, governors tell IG Adamu

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;

The Nation

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