Molly Kilete, Abuja
Criticism have continued to greet the banning of the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels.
The IGP, had on Sunday, banned the tactical squares from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc – with immediate effect.
The ban was announced by the force public relations officer Frank Mba, in a statement issued in Abuja.News of the ban which hit the airwaves has been greeted with criticism as many see it as a mere talk by the IGP, to pacify Nigerians who have been calling for the ban of these tactical squad over extra judicial killings and harassment of innocent Nigerians by the deadly group.Some security operatives who spoke to Daily Sun, in Abuja, said this is not the first time the IGP, is announcing the banning of the squad, most of which their commanders have more powerful contacts than the IIGP himself.For this reason, they say the order by the IGP would not hold water. It was gathered that that while the police was not unaware of the achievements of these tactical squad, their mode of operations is said to be bothering the police authorities as most of them have gone completely out of their scope of duties.It was gathered that the incessant extra judicial killings, interference into very private matter other than serious crime and murder as well as the inability of the squads to prosecute suspects arrested for various crimes in the shortest possible time was giving the police authorities a sleepless night.However while Nigerians are waiting to see weather or not the IGP’s order was going to come into effect or not, some police officers who do not want their names described the order as that of an “audio directive”, saying this is nit the first time the is giving such orders. At most what would happen according to them is a change of name as it has been done in the past after Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, order the banning of the outfits, The police officers said following the banning of the outfits by Osibanjo, the name was changed from SARS to FSARS. Others say the directives would never work as banning these operatives would worsen the already battered security situations in the country. They also criticized the IGP, from stopping the personnel from carrying out patrols and mounting of road blocks as that was the only way they have been able to arrest most wanted criminals relocating from one spot to the other.