The Nigerian police say the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) can’t be scrapped because of the ongoing fight against crimes in the country.
Frank Mba, spokesman of the police, was speaking on Tuesday during an Instagram live chat with Naira Marley, a singer.
“What we need to do is to reform SARS and make them responsive, responsible and make them to work in accordance with laid down procedures,” he said.
“We need them to continue to respond to violent crimes. We need them to continue to respond to armed robberies. We need them to continue to respond to kidnappings.”
Mba also said the force is taking actions to ensure that the lives and properties of citizens are protected. He added that every Nigerian has the right to appear the way they like.
“There is no law that says dreadlocks, tattoos and other personal choices of appearance are offenses. It is nonsense,” he said.
He said that the police will continue to ensure that operatives of SARS work within the confines of the law.
He added that if any policeman is caught violating the law, citizens can take recordings and send to the police to take proper action.
“But if a policeman is doing something wrong, you can take pictures and record videos and send them to us. But make sure you do so safely,” he said.
“If you feel in your interactions with the police that they are beginning to cross the line, you can take pictures and videos as long as it is safe for you to do so. When you send them to us, we will definitely follow up the matter and see it to a logical conclusion.”
In his response, Naira Marley called for the reformation of SARS, saying that they should only be seen in robbery or violent crime scene.
“We want this nonsense to end and we would do all we can to end it. We need to reform SARS. We need to get them off the roads,” he said.
“All we really want is for SARS to be like SWAT in the United States. You only see them when the occasion demands it.
“They should be off the roads. In Nigeria we see SARS everywhere. They should only come out when there is a robbery or other violent crime that need their attention.”
Naira Marley had earlier shelved his proposed protest against SARS following an appeal by Mohammed Adamu, the inspector general of police.
The renewed protests against SARS started on Saturday after a video showing a man allegedly gunned down in Delta by operatives of the police unit went viral.
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