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#EndSARS: Forum faults FG’s hasty formation of new tactical unit

The United Global Resolve For Peace (UGRFP) has faulted the Federal Government’s haste in setting up a new tactical unit, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT),…

The United Global Resolve For Peace (UGRFP) has faulted the Federal Government’s haste in setting up a new tactical unit, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), to replace the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), saying the government should have addressed the root cause of police extra-judicial killings before setting up the new unit.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu had on October 13, 2020, announced the setting up of a SWAT Team that will fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct SARS.

But the Executive Director, UGRFP, Shalom Olaseni, said on Thursday in Abuja that it strongly condemns the use of disproportionate force by the authorities on peaceful protesters some of which are irrefutably captured in digital proof.

According to him, in respecting people’s right to peaceful protest, the government has a duty beyond listening to their complaints to equally keeping protesters safe in the exercise of their rights.

This is as he also commended the Police Service Commission (PSC) for taking the bold step to dismiss 37 officers, despite of its operational constraints, adding that by strengthening the commission, Nigeria would indeed be positioning itself for much-needed gains in its policing system.

“UGRFP wishes to further note that despite best intentions, the setting up of a new tactical unit christened SWAT was a tad hasty as more efforts should have been channelled into addressing the root causes of police violence while putting in place sufficient safeguards to prevent further abuse.

“This could have taken the form of dismissing cops with severe disciplinary issues, setting up an internal inquiry to identify others within the system for the prosecution, massive training, and psycho-social evaluations for the police all conducted transparently and thoroughly. Such a focus would have driven public trust and earned the police sufficient time to put its affairs in order so as to help it meet the other demands of the peaceful protesters,” Olaseni said.

He also appealed for calm from the public, particularly the enraged Nigerian youths who have suffered casualties in their numbers while demanding for a right to live free from police brutality.

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