The President of the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists(NGIJ), Ayoyemi Mojoyinola has faulted the establishment of Special Weapon And Tactics Team (SWAT) as a replacement of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that was disbanded after massive protests by the Nigerian youth against the brutality and injustice experienced in the hands of the operatives.
In a statement signed by the National Secretary of the Guild, Malam Abdulrahman Aliagan and made available to Journalists in Abuja, Tuesday, Mojoyinla observed that the new establishment may be seen as a sign of insensitivity and a misplacement of priority on the part of police authorities, explaining that what is needed at the moment is a complete reform of the Nigerian police force, not creation of a new arm of the Force.
The Guild’s President noted further that the Nigerian youth have shown great concerns and displeasure in the operation of the entire police force, as records of brutality, maltreatment, unnecessary killings have marred the efficiency and achievement of the current Inspector General of Police, hence, the need for the IGP to ensure that nothing of such occurs again.
He added that the IGP should also go after officers who are culprits of these alleged acts of brutality against citizens.
According to Him, SWAT was created with a good intention, especially for the fact that there will be no form of unnecessary oppression, checking of mobile phones, profiling of citizens, as ordered by the Inspector General of Police, but creating it at this time is wrong timing as emotions are still high.
“This is not a time to create SWAT, What the Nigerian police needs now is complete reform, that is the way to go for the Force.
“What we should be talking about now is retraining police officers, making them go through courses that will enlighten them morally and psychologically, increase in their salaries and allowances, not creating another arm that will come into the already failing policing system.
“Let them be reformed, after this has been done, we can now talk about SWAT, the duties of SWAT is needed but not at this time, what we need now is Police reformation”, he stated.
He, however, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, and the IGP, Mohammed Adamu for listening to the demands of the youths. He also urged protesters to be as peaceful as possible in making their demands.
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