“In recent times, we have received several reports and seen many online videos alleging that some personnel of the Nigerian Police Force, especially SARS operatives, have been involved in various acts of brutality and extortion against innocent citizens of this great country. It is sad that a good number of the very persons who are constitutionally empowered to provide security and ensure peace and order have now turned against the very people they are meant to protect. We have also received reports of how some SARS officials are accused of executing victims in extrajudicial manner. To say the least, this is incredibly sad and troubling.
The only way of assuaging the anger in the land now is to ensure that the guilty ones are brought to face the law, and justice seen to have been done. Such heinous crimes must not be condoned or allowed to continue. Unfortunately, we have been witnesses to the seeming inability of our police authorities to put an end to this outright siege on hapless Nigerians. We understand that there have been no less than four attempts by the topmost hierarchy of the Nigerian Police to call these special units to order without success. One wonders why this is the case. Inability to bring them under control gives room for people to insinuate that the top echelons are themselves compromised. It would be sad if this is found to be true.
The failure of the leadership of the country to take appropriate action against the excesses of the security operatives this time, might exacerbate the worsening state of insecurity across the country. The officers in charge of such units must be specially trained, well-funded and equipped for such purpose. SARS at present, has compromised the purpose of its existence. There is need for total overhauling of the present structure of the Police Force and reorientation of the personnel to make them more efficient and accountable for their actions.
We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police to commence a thorough and realistic review of the entire structure of the Police Force in order to restore its integrity. It would not be fair to the hardworking and thoroughbred professionals among the officers whose integrity have been put on the line unless a permanent halt is brought to the rot that has been festering in the system over the years. There is need for adequate funding of police operations, and an enhanced remuneration package for all policemen across board.