The protests against police brutality is generating serious threats to the stability of the nation as more and more youths and adults are coming out en-masse to speak their minds. In a bid to save the situation, the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police force Mohammed Adamu had hurriedly proscribed the SARS unit and immediately come up with another name –Special Weapons And Tactics unit (SWAT).
The move was a very wrong move. IG Adamu did not consult his colleagues on how well to handle the situation. He did not take the protests seriously. He thought Nigerians are not sensible and like every other protest it will end after two days. All the functions of the new SWAT team are the original functions of the defunct SARS before they changed the directives to suit their own agenda. What effort has the IG made to investigate the failure of the old unit SARS? He never took any serious action to understand the rationale behind the protests. In order to please his superiors he had hurriedly come up with a new name which is synonymous popular American TV series SWAT. Coming up with a fancy name without looking deep into the Nigerian Police force(NPF) is a failure on his part. It is not just about SARS but the whole Police Force that needs reforms and restructuring.
One of the points in his statement with respect to the new SWAT unit is that the old members of SARS will not be included. How do we know? Does Nigerians have the list of SARS operatives in their hands to know who is included or not? A lot of the things that SARS operatives do are the same thing the average police officer does when they are at the check points. So the new SWAT team will be made up of the same rotten sets of people from which the former SARS operatives were picked. SWAT is no different from SARS as long as there no careful selection and scrutiny to get the few good ones from the Police force. Trust Nigerian method of “paddy-paddy”, selection will not be based on merit and integrity but “who know man” or the highest bidder. The extortion by the SARS operatives must be supported by their superiors because they are benefiting from the largesse hence it would have been stopped long ago.
According to a post on facebook, SWAT was redefined as:
S – SARS W- With A – Another T- Title.
The protest slogan has now changed to EndSWAT. Today, 15th October 2020 is going to be across the whole of Lagos State as other areas are joining in the protest including traders, business owners etc. The protests gradually snowballing into something massive as there are so many politicians using the opportunity to create awareness for their own agenda in 2023 elections. According to Kunle (not real names) who is one of the pillars of the protests in one of the active zones “We have sponsors who provide money for the logistics such as getting DJ, printing of t-shirts, fuel for vehicles, refreshments etc”.
The earlier the better the government get their acts together, the better for them or else they will get what they never bargained for. SWAT is dead on arrival and not the solution to Police Brutality. According Charly Boy “Police reform is a joke, criminal no dey reform criminal”. The whole NPF needs some new injections or else the next protest slogan will be “EndNPF”.
Photo credit: Intel Region & Channels TV