Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Following the scrapping of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Federal Government, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has called for similar action against the service chiefs.
In a statement titled “Northern Elders Forum on developments related to oolicing Nigeria” signed by its director, publicity and advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, the group said: “The spirit deployed against SARS should be visited on policing and securing the north. We further demand a complete overhaul of our policing and security agencies, starting with the removal of service chiefs and the involvement of responsible opinion in initiatives that will address the manner the nation is designed to be policed and secured.
“We appeal to fellow Nigerians to show the highest levels of restraint and maturity in the manner we organise the defence of our rights. Under no circumstances should we encourage acts that increase our exposure to crime, lawlessness and insecurity. NEF has noted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to order the scrapping of the much-maligned Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), and reorganisation and investigations into excesses of the outfit.
“The forum notes that this decision should be placed in the context of the huge demands that had been made for the President to address serious shortfalls in our policing and security institutions. There have been many abuses that ought to have been checked by this and earlier administrations, but were ignored or treated with levity owing to very low levels of respect for accountability. It is a sad commentary on the manner this administration approaches sensitive matters such as security of citizens that it had to be forced into taking this decision after serious damage to the integrity and credibility of our policing and security institutions.”