Is Nigeria’s New Police Task Force More of the Same?

The Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu, has set up a new unit, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), to replace the controversial Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) which was disbanded following protests over human rights abuses. The police chief said all members from the disbanded unit will undergo a psychological and medical examination, before further training and redeployment. 

The country has been rocked by protests from young people over claims of kidnapping, harassment, and extortion by the ‘rogue’ force. Using the hashtag #EndSARS on social media, international celebrities joined Nigerians in the campaign to end police brutality in all its forms.

Inspector general of police Mohammed Adamu has set up a new Special Weapons and Tactics team to fill gaps arising from the scrapping of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

Members of the SWAT team will undergo psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility.

They are to begin training at different police tactical training institutions next week.

Personnel from police commands in the south east and south south will train at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State.

Personnel from commands in the north at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ende, Nasarawa State

Those from the south west will train at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun State.

Meanwhile personnel of the defunct SARS are to report at the Force Headquarters Abuja for “debriefing, psychological and medical examination,” according to a statement released Tuesday by Force Spokesman Frank Mba.

“The officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.”

A newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit will carry out medical examination on the defunct SARS personnel on recall.

The unit will henceforth engage in psychological management, reorientation and training of officers deployed for tactical operations.

Its members include psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, pastors, imams, public relations experts, civil society and human rights groups.

Domiciled in the Police’s medical department and coordinated by a medical officer.

Read the original article on Daily Trust.

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