Dr. Ona Ekhomu has advised Nigerians to brace for an inevitable upsurge in violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and armed banditry as a result of the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Federal Government. He said: “Violent criminals are aware that SARS has been scrapped. Since there was no orderly transition from one crime combating agency to another, the terrorists and criminals will exploit the confusion during the interregnum to unleash mayhem on Nigerians.”
Dr. Ekhomu said that
given the probability of spike in violent crimes, the police agency must create
a new elite unit dedicated to crime-combating within seven days in order to
deny robbers and kidnappers the opportunity to slaughter innocent citizens.
Reacting to the
disbanding of SARS by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu,
Ekhomu who is the National President of the Association of Industrial Security
and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) said: “It behooves the police agency
to quickly respond to the challenge of controlling violent crimes in the
According to him,
Nigeria is already the third most terrorized country in the world. It would be
totally unacceptable for violent crimes to rise higher than current high
levels. “SARS or no SARS, the police must competently perform its
constitutional duty”, he added.
Dr. Ekhomu said that
the excesses and abuses of SARS were well documented. “However, Lord Acton
aphorized that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So, any
successor elite anti-violent crime squad must be given, the imperatives of
accountability, responsibility and integrity. The unit must be properly supervised to avoid a repeat the
history of SARS of gross abuse of the rights of Nigerians.
He called for comprehensive police reforms to enable
the Nigeria Police Force fulfill its constitutional role of maintaining law and
order. He advised against cosmetic reforms and advised the Federal Government
to enpanel a committee that will map out far-reaching reforms to create greater
effectiveness and efficiency in crime control.
He advised the Federal authorities to mandate the police
agency to publish semi-annual crime statistics to enable a metrics based
measurement of police performance.
He advised the Police High Command to address the
huge trust deficit between the police agency and the Nigerian public. He said
that policing can succeed only with the cooperation of citizens.
When a new violent crimes combating group is
created, it must have rules of engagement which are enforceable. He called for
strict disciplinary action against deviant police personnel.
He also advised that drug testing should be
mandatory for all personnel of the new squad as many SARS personnel were accused
by citizens of being drug abusers. It was alleged by some that the psychotropic
substances taken was to enable them cope with the stress of the job.
Ekhomu called for periodic psychological testing of the major case squad officers in order to detect abusive tendencies before they are exhibited. Said he: “the NPF must become a knowledge-led policing agency”.
Posted by admin: Chinyere Onyemachi