Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.
This weekend, Nigerians had a lot to say about the Special Anti-robbery Squad, and they expressed their frustration in clear terms.
Meanwhile, The Nigeria Police Force responded by issuing new instructions about SARS:
The Commissioner of Police (Mohammed Adamu) stated that F-SARS and other “tactical units” in the Police were subsequently banned from routine patrols and “conventional low-risk duties” like stop and search activities, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, etc.
They must also appear in their police uniform or tactical gear anytime they wanted to go out on a tactical assignment and that they were “warned” against the unauthorized search of phones, laptops and smart devices.
The Presidency also issued similar guidelines:
The SARS Command
SARS is the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. They are one of the sections under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), the highest intelligence arm of the Nigerian police, headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.
SARS was created to handle “special” robbery crimes in Nigeria, and they are controlled at state and regional levels in Nigeria by the Commissioners of Police in charge of state commands and the Zonal Assistant Inspector Generals of Police.
Will This New Directive Change Anything?
No doubt, these new instructions will go a long way in reducing the menace caused by SARS. If they can’t be found on the streets, can’t check phones and must dress officially, I believe that the SARS menace will be drastically reduced.
But, SARS has not been banned, and the IGP maintains they remain a “critical component” of the police force in handling crime.
And that, right there, is the catch. SARS isn’t leaving anytime soon. After all, the Acting President Yemi Osinnbao made similar calls that SARS be restructured in 2018, and yet here we are.