Lalong briefs Buhari on security situation in north, appeals for calm on #EndSARS protests

Lalong briefs Buhari on security situation in north, appeals for calm on #EndSARS protests

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, on Thursday, briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation in the northern part of the country.

He also expressed support for the ongoing reforms in the Nigeria Police Force.

The governor, who is also the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, told State House correspondents in Abuja that he also briefed the president on the state of community policing in Plateau.

He said the people recruited by the state government for community policing had commenced training in Makurdi, Benue State.

Lalong  said: “As the chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum, I am here to also update him (Buhari) and to remind him about certain issues discussed with Mr. President that had now taken place.

“For instance, when we had the challenge of insecurity all over the north, we called for community policing.

“So, when you see things being done, it’s good to also update him. Things are going our way now because the training of community policemen is going on in various zones, particularly for me in Plateau State.

“About 70 percent of those we recruited for community policing are now in Makurdi undergoing training. Just yesterday, I appointed a new coordinator, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), to take care of it.

“This is to tell you that things about security should be taken seriously if we have to keep the nation united.

“Secondly, we are also aware that so many issues are cropping up and people are making suggestions which Mr. President has gladly accepted.

“Some of the recommendations are disbandment of the SARS and also refunding and reform of the police.

“These are issues that require all leaders’ contributions to Mr. President so that we can have a way forward in addressing the national security of the state.’’

The governor appealed to those protesting against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) despite its disbandment to stop their agitation as government had met all their demands.

He revealed that not all the state governors in the northern part of the country supported the disbandment of SARS, saying some of the governors wanted a reformed SARS and not the disbandment of the police unit.

He added: “Some people (including governors), said they don’t want SARS, some said they want SARS, but a reformed SARS.

“They want a reformed  SARS   because as far as they are concerned, some of these SARS operatives have helped them in addressing insecurity.

“If there are bad ones, holistically, bring them together, and reform them.

“So, our opinion and conclusion at that stage is that let us not just say that we are throwing away the baby with the bathwater. If there are good ones, you don’t chase them away.

“So, as SARS is banned, we are now looking forward to the other options because most of the states in the north said no. They want SARS because SARS helped them.

“Borno said without SARS, he would not have been surviving today. Niger also wants SARS.

“So, if you are addressing this issue of SARS, you need to know what is wrong in some places. Is it the process of recruitment? Is it the character of the people? You can’t say because somebody is wrong, everybody is wrong in the country.”

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