South East Group Rejects Proposed Police SWAT

Hyacinth Chinweuba

A group under the auspice of Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) has criticized the Inspector General of Police, Mohammad Adamu’s proposed establishment of Special Weapons And Tactical Team (SWAT) by Nigeria’s

The southeast group posited that the proposed SWAT was an antic by disgruntled police hierarchy officers to shield men of the disbanded Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, F-SARS from prosecution.

The Association said SWAT could not end police brutality on innocent citizens, emphasizing that the unveiled Special Weapons And Tactical Team, SWAT, was ill-thought-out and an incentive to escalate violent crimes in Nigeria.

In a statement signed by National President, Chief Emeka Diwe the South East Town Unions stated its feelings, which was contained and made available to journalists in Umuahia on Friday.

Recall that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammad Adamu, announced the creation of Special Weapons and Tactical Team, SWAT, to tackle acts of criminal activities in the country following current security threat by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists, bandits, armed robbery and kidnapping.

But Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), in the press statements, expressed disappointment with the Police Authority, posited that instead of IGP Mohammad Adamu first putting in motion an arrangement to investigate the allegations of abuses perpetrated by men of SARS, he hurriedly announced that he had disbanded F-SARS.

Parts of the ASETU statement read, “The manner that the so-called disbandment of SARS has been done appears more like a political action instead of a comprehensive security measure. Nobody doubts that there is a need for a police unit that should specialize in combating high-risk crimes like armed robbery. This is the tradition the world over. However, the action of the IGP in dissolving SARS without first raising and training a new dedicated unit to combat violent crimes has created a security lacuna of extremely dangerous proportions.

“What will be the fate of Nigerians between now and when the IGP will eventually come up with a new policing arrangement to address the issue of armed robbery. We contend that the scrapping of SARS, which has been done without first addressing the fundamental questions of abuse and brutality, seems engineered from above to give a soft landing to a notorious gang of untrained policemen who have serially killed, robbed and maimed Nigerians”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has advised the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to stay action on implementing Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT).

Adamu had announced that the new team would replace the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

In a communiqué on Thursday, the Governors said they held a meeting with Adamu on the formation.

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