IGP Replaces SARS with SWAT, Directs Personnel of New Team to Report to Abuja for Debriefing and Medical Examination

Nigeria's Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, Tuesday yielded more grounds to the yearnings of the #EndSARS protesters by officially replacing Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) with a new team called Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).

The new team is expected to fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct SARS.

Prospective members of the new team, in accordance with Section 18 (10) of the Police Act 2020, have been ordered to report to the Force Headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.

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The officers, formerly known as SARS personnel, are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.

It would be recalled that Adamu had over the weekend announced the dissolution of SARS unit after days of agitation across the country.

Despite this, protest continues in major South-west, South-south, South-east and North-central regions of the country.

The medical examination would be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU), a Unit, which henceforth shall engage in psychological management, re-orientation and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.

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The unit, which is domiciled with the Force Medical Department and coordinated by the Force Medical Officer, has its membership drawn from amongst psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, public relations practitioners, civil society and other human Rlrights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise.

Adamu, in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the personnel are to commence training at the different police tactical training institutions nationwide, next week.

While personnel from the Police Commands in the South-east and the South-south would be trained at the Counter-Terrorism College in Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State, those from the Police Commands from the North and the South-west would be trained at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ende in Nasarawa State; and the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun in Osun State, respectively.

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While reaffirming his irrevocable commitment towards the successful and holistic implementation of the police reforms, IGP enjoined members of the public, particularly protesting citizens to exercise restraint and allow measures being put in place to come to fruition and engender a police force that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry.

Idowu Sowunmi