Spokesman of the Police Force, Jimoh Moshood, has stated that ending SARS would enable robbers to take over the country.
In an interview with the Punch Newspaper, he stated: “The Special Anti-Robbery Squad is a specialised unit of the Force that deals with armed robbery, kidnapping, cattle rustling, car snatching and the like; any crime involving use of firearms.”
He went on to add that “People who started the #EndSARS campaign can channel their grievances to the desk officers for investigation. SARS has been in existence for over 40 years and it is essential to the force, so we cannot dismantle it.”
Asked why it too so long for the force to reorganize SARS, Moshood said, “I won’t argue that it took some time for the re-organisation. Since the IG assumed office, he has been instituting internal reforms in the operation of the force. He also fashioned out some creed which is like our Bible or Quran guiding our work. This creed has been drummed into the operatives and everywhere he goes, he impresses it on the personnel to respect human rights, shun corruption and indiscipline and to be civil.
“To say it took us long to re-organise the squad would not be correct because when he assumed office, he directed the training of SARS operatives by some civil organisations and the Red Cross. What we are saying is that, some of the complaints in the social media are genuine, and some happened five, six years ago and some are bringing them up now. We know that any organisation that is subject to public opinion has to grapple with the responsibility of educating the public constantly.
“We can’t say because there are one or two infractions, we should end SARS because if you end SARS, robbers would take over. We appreciate the patriotism of those demanding an end to SARS, but other groups are equally saying, reform SARS. So if they have any complaint against the unit, let them tell us and it would be addressed.”
He also said any SARS official guilty of misconduct will face punishment. “In this regard, if it is the rank and file, such officer would be defaulted, or dismissed from the Force if he was indicted for discreditable conduct.”