Governors commend IGP over ban of FSARS, other tactical squads
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Monday commended the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for banning the operations of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other tactical squads in the Nigeria Police Force.
The Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in a statement in Abuja, called for appropriate sanctions against law enforcement agents who had become lawless and irresponsible in the exercise of their duties against ordinary Nigerians.
Adamu had on Sunday banned the personnel of FSARS and other police tactical squads including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad, and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal, and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks and traffic checks, amongst others with immediate effect.
In a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, the IGP directed that no police personnel is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti as they must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.
The police chief’s directives followed reports that a few personnel of the tactical squads hide under the operations to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Code of Conduct, and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.
Fayemi, who is also the Governor of Ekiti State, said the governors received with great relief and satisfaction the decision to ban the operations of that unit of the police with immediate effect.
He said: “We also completely agree with the directive of the IGP that no personnel of the Force is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti forthwith.
“This, in our view, will significantly reduce the various infractions of the Force that the ordinary Nigerian people have been complaining about.
“We also believe this will bring an end to the menace of SARS brutality on the people they are meant to protect.
“The IGP’s instructions could not have come at a better time when the majority of Nigerians are unhappy with this group of police officers who have routinely engaged in unlawful killings and torture, thereby giving the Force a bad name.
“It is helpful to recall that SARS has been cautioned for the same behaviour before only for it to go back to its old ways.
“Our young people should not be criminalized simply on account of how they look or their mode of dressing or the cars they drive, the type of phones they carry, etc. This is an assault on their fundamental human rights.
“We think this is a timely clinical response by the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force and I must commend IGP Adamu for his promptness and boldness.”