..Says DHIS, governors at liberty to advocate what is good for their people
By Dirisu Yakubu, Abuja
Renowned constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome has said the position of prominent leaders on the recent disbandment of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS, by the federal government has again validates the need to urgently restructure the country.
Ozekhome who spoke against the backdrop of remarks credited to the chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum and governor of Plateau state Simon Lalong that the North is against the dissolution of SARS, noted that in preferring to stick with SARS, the nation should now be restructured to enable the component parts decide on what works for them.
Governor Lalong had while briefing President Muhammadu Buhari recently on the issue said: “Some people said they don’t want SARS, some said they want SARS but a reformed SARS. They want a reformed SARS because as far as they are concerned, some of these SARS operatives help them in addressing insecurity.
“Our opinion and conclusion at this stage is that let us not just say that we are throwing away the baby with the bath water. If there are good ones, you don’t chase them away.
“So as SARS is banned, we are now looking forward to an opinion because most of the states in the North said no. They want SARS because SARS helps them.
It would be recalled that few days after the disbandment of the police special unit, a non-governmental organization, Digital Home with Internal Solution, DHIS founded by Ambassador Ibrahim Bala Aboki faulted what it called the “hurried” dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigerian Police Force by Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, saying the development is capable of posing a serious security threat across the country.
Addressing a world press conference in Kano, Aboki noted that though, some bad eggs had over the years portrayed SARS in bad light; reform, he said should have been the way out order than outright disbandment.
“DHIS condemns in totality the uncivilized approach by most political commentators through their reckless use of social media to fuel this ugly development. To us in DHIS, the disbandment of SARS is a serious security threat to the nation, especially because of the onerous task of this special arm of the Nigerian Police Force. Nigerians will recall that before the creation of SARS in 1992, there were so many cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other security vices. But the activities of this special force have reduced the operation of these criminal gangs across the country.
“We are aware that there are some few bad elements in the force that have been terrorizing innocent citizens of Nigeria, but we are totally against the disbandment of this special unit in the Nigeria Police Force. Rather, we want to advocate for a total overhaul of not just the operation of SARS, but the entire police force in order to meet with the demand of Nigerians on community policing.”
Speaking exclusively with Vanguard in Abuja, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said: “If the North says they want SARS, and the entire South-South, South-East and South-West say they don’t want, it is a reaffirmation of the urgent need for the restructuring of Nigeria that we have been talking about.
“It means that the requirement of one state or region are not exactly the same with others. This is the reaffirmation of the urgency of now and yesterday to urgently restructure Nigeria and allow each state and each geo-political zone to do things the way they deem fit.
“The South-West has started Amotekun, the South-East and South-South as well as the Middle Belt should start their own. This will not in any way means that Nigeria has balkanised. It simply means that like the United States of America, every state does its own thing its own way.”
Protest against SARS and police brutality has continued nationwide in the past one week with some governors reportedly embarrassed by a mass of youths registering their displeasure on the state of affairs in the country.