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SARS/SWAT: The Tale Of 6 And A Half Dozen

SARS/SWAT What is the Difference

SARS/SWAT, well as expected, reactions have continued to trail the announcement made by the Inspector-General of Police. The IGP, Mohammed Adamu gave a new name to the SARS. The new name which is Special Weapons and Tactics, SWAT, will now replace the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.

The IGP had ordered that all personnel of the defunct SARS should report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja. They were asked to return for debriefing, psychological and medical examination. 

The officers were expected to undergo the medical examination as a prelude to further training. They will also be re-orientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.

In a statement signed by Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, it was stated that the medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit, PCSU. 

The PCSU is expected to engage in psychological management. They will also be re-orientation and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.

What is SWAT?

Since the IGP announced the new police unit, Nigerians have been eager to know the diffence. They want to know if there is any difference between the defunct police unit, SARS and SWAT. Nigerian also wants know whether the new unit is merely a new name for the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS. 

In the United States of America, SWAT means Special Weapons And Tactics team. It is a law enforcement unit which uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. 

It was gathered that the team was initially established to handle riot control. Also they are to control violent confrontations with criminals. The usage of SWAT teams increased during the War on Drugs. SWAT was also needed following the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

The IGP said the SWAT teams were set up to fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of SARS. He added that the prospective members of the new team will undergo a psychological and medical examination. Which is to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.

However, it is imperative to take a critical look into what the #EndSARS protesters were clamouring for. before they change their hashtag to #EndSWAT.

One of their major demands include putting an end to police brutality, harassment and extortion. One will wonder if the SWAT will meet up with the demands of the protesters. The IGP only highlighted these five points

Five Key Demands of the Protesters 

1. The dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS across the thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

2.The redeployment of all officers and men serving in the unit.

3.Unveiling a new policing arrangement for tackling the offences of Armed-Robbery and other violent crimes.

4.Launching of citizens and strategic Stakeholders Forum.

5. Constitution of an investigative team to deal with the report of crimes committed against citizens.

The points listed during the dissolution of the SARS and the formulation of the new unit, SWAT is a pointer to the fact that the IGP is yet to understand that reform of the Nigerian Police Form to put an end to police brutality is part of the demands made by the #EndSARS now #EndSWAT protesters.

Moreso, the Federal government nrrd to critically look into the wellbeing of the police officers in the country. Many Nigerians have blamed the high rate of extortion among Nigerian police officers on their poor wellbeing.

If the IGP, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal government, members of the National Assembly, House of Representatives and other stakeholders doesn’t understand the yearning of the Nigerian people, it means the new move by the IGP is more like a Tale of 6 and half dozen.

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