The Emir of Muri Emirate council in Taraba state HRH Chief Abbas Tafida on Sunday faulted the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), insisting reformation would have been a better option.
The Monarch said the Federal government should have looked inwards and brought in reforms that would sanitize and strengthen the unit rather than scraping it as agitated by others.
The first Class Chief who spoke among a cross-section of critical stakeholders who lent their voice to the ongoing protests and subsequent scrapping of the unit said that the good work and intentions behind the establishment of the unit can not be taken for granted, even as it was obvious that some unscrupulous elements in the unit seem to be power-drunk.
“We can not say because the SARS are dealing badly with people, then they should be completely scrapped. Are the armed robbers and other criminal elements dealing with people better? At the time you have to take extrajudicial measures to extract correct information,” he said.
“Rather than the scrapping of the unit, a reformation would be a better option. I will willingly join any committee that is set up to critically look into the issues raised against the SARS in a bid to give the government sound recommendation on how to best reposition the unit for more efficient and professional performance.”
Joseph Gimba, the state Chairman of civil societies in Taraba insists the operatives of the SARS unit need regular psychological evaluation and testing for drugs and other substance abuse to ensure that they are in the right frame of mind to carry out their all-important tasks of ridding the nation of criminals.
Gimba stressed that rather than scrap the unit and integrate the men into the mainstream police, the officers should have been subjected to set standards and those found to have fallen short of such standards would have been made to face the full wrath of the law in public glare to serve as a deterrent to others.
However, the leaders of Igbo and Yoruba communities in Taraba state are saying that rather than scrap the unit the Federal government should have taken the calls for the scrapping of the SARS unit of the Nigerian police as a wake-up call to streamline the operations of the unit and ensure that the operatives selected to work under the unit are of the highest physical, mental and professional standings.
The youth, under their umbrella body, Nigerian Youth Council of Nigeria and spoke through their chairman, Udi M. Adamu has called for a total reformation of the SARS unit including their way of dressing and lines of duty.
Adamu said that “most operatives of the unit dress so rough that they are easily mistaken for bandits and other criminal elements while the manner in which they treat people is most humiliating and unbecoming of law enforcement agents”.
Also speaking, the chairperson of National Council of Women Societies in Taraba state Daniel Atanji said that the women in the state “would not be a party to the ending of SARS but would rather advocate for training and retraining of officers of the unit and other security agencies so that they carry out their responsibilities with the highest professional standards and respect for the rights of citizens.”
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had earlier in the day dissolved the infamous subunit of the force following days of widespread protests by Nigerians.