Despite ongoing protests, IGP finalises plans to commence training SWAT members Oct. 19

Despite ongoing protests against disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the new police unit introduced by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), the police has concluded plans to begin training of the team on Monday, October 19, 2020.

As the protest continued against the notorious SARS, Nigerians have also risen against the new police unit hurriedly introduced by the police boss. Nigerian governors and other stakeholders are standing behind Nigerian youths in the call for the total disbandment of SARS and stoppage of the SWAT pending when the demands of Nigerian youths are met.

All over the nation, the various governors are seen in solidarity with the youths in their different state, some of the governors are even releasing youths arrested by the police following their action in the ongoing protests and some already arrested by the defunct SARS prior to its disbandment by the IGP.

But on Sunday, October 18, 2020, a statement emerged purportedly from the force public relations officer, From Mba, intimating Nigerians of the commencement of training of the new SWAT members by the police boss. This is despite the protest against the team. The youths are calling for total reformation of the police force before the SWAT team is started by the police.

In the statement, Frank Mba said the Inspector General of Police, Adamu, has reaffirmed that the new police tactical team will operate within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.

He added that “In pursuant of the above objectives, the NPF is partnering with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other development partners for the training of the tactical team which commences Monday, 19th October, 2020 at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun state and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa state.”

According to the statement, “The IGP reiterates that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will be a member the new tactical team. He notes that the officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven years working  experience with clean service records – no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations. The selected officers shall be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening etc and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged.”