NIGERIA’S Northern Governors Forum (NNGF) has rejected the total disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) by the federal government saying that they would rather see it reformed.
Over the last fortnight, there have been widespread demonstrations across Nigeria and in the diaspora to protest the recent brutal killings of Sars forces. Last weekend, Sars operatives killed a young boy identified as Joshua Ambrose in cold blood in Delta State but unfortunately for them, videographer Prince Nicholas Makolomi, recorded the whole incident live.
His video, which fuelled anger across Nigeria, sparking off a series of nationwide protests, with celebrities joining in with an online campaign across social media. So fierce has been the public mood that the inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu has been forced to announce the dissolution of the Sars unit.
Despite the announcement that the federal government will disband the unit, the protests have continued and even got more popular with demonstrators demanding guarantees that the move will be implemented. Protesters are also demanding the prosecution of the police killers, the formation of a committee to oversee the creation of a new unit and the compensation for the victims of police brutality among other things.
In a surprise development, however, the NGGF met with President Muhammadu Buhari today in Aso Rock and said that they opposed the scrapping of Sars. Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, the NGGF chairman, said the defunct police unit had been useful in the fight against insecurity across northern Nigeria..
Governor Lalong said Sars was not made up of bad elements alone as it also included personnel doing their work diligently. He added that what was needed was the reformation of the unit to enable it to discharge its functions optimally.
However, Governor Lalong acknowledged that there were divisions in the country concerning the continued existence of the unit. It now appears that the matter has split Nigerians along ethnic lines with the northwest and northeast geo-political zone wanting Sars to remain but the four other zones wanting it to remain scrapped.