By Sunday Ani
Furmer Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Sir Mike Okiro has identified policy summersault as responsible for the myriad of problems facing police operations in Nigeria.
In a message titled “The police I met, served and left,” the former police boss said policy summersaults had not only marred effective policing in Nigeria, but also other aspects of national life, including the civil service.
Okiro lamented that the good old days when the system worked well and a police officer was highly respected, just as civil servants and teachers were, had given way to a decayed system, where police officers bear the brunt of a failed system.
Citing what happened during the #EDNDSARS protest, he said the police suffered heavy casualties because they were the visible, outward and tangible representation of government.
“SARS was, therefore, viewed as an image of a failed system. The protesters vented their anger, disdain and frustrations against our detestable national ethos, a system that pushed them to the domain of hopelessness. SARS was notorious in its dealings with Nigerians, the youth especially. So, #END SARS became a rallying point, a slogan that could be easily used to galvanise the youths against government policies and programmes, and because of this, the police suffered casualties on behalf of the government,” he said.
Though, the former police boss said he regretted establishing the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), he justified its creation as a necessary response to an official challenge; an answer to a lack of arms and equipment in the police in the early 1990s when a notorious armed robber, Shina Rambo was terrorising Lagos and its environs.
Okiro said it was the SARS team that eventually neutralised Shina Rambo in two separate operations at Berger Bus stop, Isheri along Lagos – Ibadan expressway and at Isokoko on his way to Otta, Ogun State.