Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.
Earlier this afternoon, the Nigeria Police Force tweeted that SARS has been dissolved.
In 5 points, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police Force, Frank Mba, stated that SARS has been dissolved in the 36 state commands with immediate effect and that all men serving in the Unit will be redeployed to other Police Commands, Formations and Units.
He also stated that a new policing arrangement for tackling Armed-Robbery and other violent crimes will be unveiled soon, a Citizens and Strategic Stakeholders Forum will be launched, and an investigative team will be set up to deal with the reports of crimes committed against citizens.
Now, Let’s Break It Down:
1. Don’t Trust The IGP
First, it is important to shamelessly plug that this is not the first time SARS have been reformed (or acclaimed to have been reformed). So, what is the assurance that this “dissolution” will work?
The way it appears (since 2017), the Police Force Headquarters itself cannot properly control this officers. And this is why everytime the IGP makes an order about a new SARS reform, you hear that SARS officers are still terrorising citizens somewhere, at almost the same time.
2. Where are the SARS officers going?
Secondly, what is that number 2? I mean the second point? It reads:
“All officers and men serving in the Unit will be redeployed to other Police Commands, Formations and Units”.
Is the IGP whyning us?
SARS officials will be redeployed to other units? So what will they be going there? Playing Ludo with citizens? Of course, they’ll continue what they used to do before! Robbing and extorting Nigerians.
What I would have thought the IGP would have ordered was that every State Police Command will be ordered to conduct an assessment of the SARS operatives im their command, grade each of them on past records/performances and deal with the “bad eggs”, after which the fairly responsible ones can be further retrained before being deployed to another unit.
You don’t just take a SARS officer and put him another unit. The man hasn’t changed. Omo, once a SARS always a SARS, I think.
3. Do The Police Feel Remorseful?
Remorse is an important thing, and it helps us determine if the Police are truly sorry for their actions over the years.
But in this new order, you can hardly find remorse in it. Is the Nigerian Police really ready to reform itself and stop terrorising Nigerians even more than the criminals they are supposed to protect? I really don’t think so.
In fact, there’s nothing in 5 point memorandum that makes me think so.
WHAT MANY PEOPLE WANT
To many Nigerians, this directive is just another false alarm. The Police have issues many (many) statements on SARS reforms, and this particular statement is no different.
What I think will truly show that the message of young Nigerians has clearly been passed across is a clear statement from everyone in the Muhammadu Buhari Administration admitting that yes, the Police have failed and that SARS will be banned while proper police reforms will happen within the next three to six months.
The President can decide to make a broadcast (which is better), and some sort of Executive order must be signed to show that SARS as a Police unit is ended.
But look, nobody has to strictly follow any of the processes above. We’re tired of audio reforms. SARS must end, and the Government must reform the Police. Seriously.
If there’s any information you think is important for us to cover ASAP, please let us know.