The Center for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR), has called for caution by the agitation from #EndSARS advocates seeking for a complete collapse of the entire unit of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
This against the backdrop of the recent restriction order by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Idris on the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad from carrying out routine patrols, stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks and traffic checks with immediate effect.
Although the rights group commended the IGP on the action, it advised the police boss to thread watchfully so as not to throw away the baby with the birth water bearing in mind the good aspects of the squad.
In a statement signed by the group’s National President, Comrade Alex Omotehinse, made available to the press, it noted that it does not believe that ending SARS is the solution because SARS and other unit mentioned have their useful purposes too.
Part of the statement reads “CHSR as a reputable human rights organization commend Nigerians and civil society organizations for their resilient calls and exposure of overzealousness and unprofessional conduct of some officers within the Nigeria police force.
“We give kudos to the Inspector-General of Police for listening to the cries and woes of the Nigeria populace on the recent restriction placed on the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad from carrying out routine patrols, stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, and traffic checks with immediate effect.
“The recent decision by the IGP to address some exceptions in the activities of FSARS, IRT, STS and Anti-Cultism is a welcome development without any doubt as it will check some form of unprofessional conduct, abuse of human rights and high handedness by some police units.
“But as a group, we do not believe Ending SARS is the solution because SARS and other unit mentioned by the IGP has primary responsibilities therefore, we shouldn’t because of a few bad eggs among them to cancel the entire units”.
The release noted further that, “We are also using this medium to push to the public domain that ending FSARS operation at this crucial moment in our nation with pockets of security challenges is a call to a state of anarchy, lawlessness and social violence as fraudsters and armed robbers are going to be the largest beneficiary of such action.
“The monitoring units and X-squad who are to see that the restrictions come to reality must also ensure that their operations should be devoid of biases, of religion nor ethnic sentiment in dealing with erring officers found wanting so that such officers can serve as a deterrent to others.
“We are bold to say that FSARS, STS, IRT and Anti-Cultism Squad are critical departments in the Nigeria Police Force to combat prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country but the act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by some personnel of the Squads gives rise to fear and jittery mode of sincere countrymen and women but this does not mean we should throw the baby away with the bathing water. Or are we saying Nigeria police should be scrap because of few bad eggs?
“We are aware that the FSARS, IRT, and other tactical teams have performed creditably well in the past and we are also a living witness to the fact that some personnel of the sections has been dealt with for derailing from the unit’s primary responsibility.
“We charge the inspector general of police to do the needful and change the narrative by instilling discipline on any men and officers found culpable to restore the dignity and integrity of the Force”.