Thursday, 15 October 2020 06:20

New twist, as #EndSARS protesters reject SWAT


LAGOS The agitation for Police reforms continued nationwide yesterday, with the #EndSARS protesters this time also calling for an end to the Special Weapons and Tactics unit, SWAT, whose creation was announced by Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Tuesday.

The IGP had said SWAT would immediately take the place of the now-disbanded SARS to tackle violent crimes in the country, but the #EndSARS protesters would have none of this, contending that the new unit was SARS in another form.

I could swear the Police already had a SWAT team. Google to make sure and found this tweet from September 2019, one of the protesters tweeted yesterday.

Another protester also sent tweets of a SWAT personnel sitting with a machine gun at the entrance of Rivers State collation centre in Port Harcourt on February 26, 2019, backed by pictures.

The Police, however, countered this argument with what they described as five facts about the new tactical team ‘SWAT. They are:

No personnel of the defunct SARS will be selected to be part of the Tactical team

  • Operations of the new Tactical team will be strictly intelligence-driven
  • Members of the new Tactical team will by no means embark on routine patrols
  • Members of the new Tactical team are barred from indiscriminate and unlawful search of phones, laptops, and other smart devices.
  • Operatives of the new Tactical team must be free of any pending disciplinary matter, especially those touching on misuse of firearms and abuse of human rights.

The protests which entered the eighth day yesterday spanned Lagos, Abuja, Awka, Warri, Abeokuta and other parts of Nigeria where it had persisted.

This came on a day Amnesty International in its twitter handle, said no fewer than 10 #EndSARS protesters had been killed by the police since the protests started.



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