Citizens accros the 36 states in the country have been holding protests against Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS operatives following intimidation and killing of innocent people.
While some operatives within the SARS rank have been anything but responsible, the total scrapping of that particular tactical team may not be the best solution to the obvious abuse and brutality, which some officers of the team have been involved in.
There are men and women of the SARS team who are professional, patriotic and highly responsible in the discharge of their duties. These men of the Force have regularly put their lives on the line to protect us and to the best of their ability tried to keep our cities and communities free of criminal elements.
Some of the criminal elements whom the SARS operatives have made their operations very difficult could also be part of some of the campaigns and protests pushing for the scrapping of the team. For instance, yesterday it was reported by some social media users that suspected yahoo yahoo boys were at the forefront of the #Endsars demonstration in that city of ours. This is a taint on the genuine complaints of innocent civilians who have unfairly treated by some of the bad eggs of SARS.
It is very unfortunate that some of these SARS men have been caught in clear criminal activities, including, extrajudicial killing of innocent Nigerians. But, we cannot throw the baby away with the bath water.
The IGP’s idea of curtailing the activities of this very important tactical team in the NPF may not be completely enough, but it goes to show that, to some extent, the Force has noted our concerns about the excesses of his men.
If you take SARS completely out of crime fighting plans of the Nigerian Police Force, we may be in for real big troubles in the country. Rather than completely scrapping them, I will vote for reforms, retraining and of course appreciable improvement in the welfare of these officers.
We must not allow the excesses of a few eggs within the team to make us completely discountenance the sacrifices of majority of these officers, deployed across Nigeria. Many of them have lost their lives pursuing after criminals and trying to ensure our security.
So, while venting our dissatisfaction and anger against SARS, let us be careful not to encourage a situation, where criminals might have a field day.