Nigerians have rejected the formation of a new police unit to replace the scrapped Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had announced the setting up of a new Special Weapons and Tactics team that will fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct SARS.
Nigerians have, however, rejected the creation of the new unit, positing that it will not end the brutalization of citizens.
Some also argued that the new name given to the unit will give the police unfettered rights to further harass and intimidate Nigerians as they refer to the new unit as an advanced version of SARS.
A Twitter user, @henrymelvinone, while reacting to the development said, “If we are moving from SARS to SWAT, IGP should launch a portal where youths can sign up for registration and training. It is part of employment. Don’t recycle.”
Another Twitter user, @zeezish, said, “The difference between the new SWAT and SARS is the same as that between six and half a dozen. In a little while, I’m afraid we’d be back to the situation that led to the dissolution of SARS. So let’s end this before it starts! #EndSWAT.”
@FrUgochukwu said, “The problem of police brutality in Nigeria is not nomenclature but systemic. The solution, therefore, is beyond a mere change of name from SARS to SWAT. A systemic problem requires a systemic solution and to efficiently address the issue, the NPF needs to be healed from the root.”
@brysonadahcole said, “By Special Weapons and Tactics, did you mean you’re changing SARS to SWAT retaining the same set of criminals and trigger-happy murderers by equipping them with special weapons to kill the youth?”
@SeunMike said, “Problem has changed name… from SARS to SWAT. What assurances are we getting, is it not the same animals who will be rebranded and unleashed on the citizens again? What will be their modus operandi?”
@B_LovedE said, “We can’t afford to be robbed, brutalized, raped or even killed if the only thing you could do is change their name from SARS to SWAT. We don’t want SWAT, we don’t want terrorists, armed robbers, kidnappers, rapists on our roads again as SWAT officers. Die that plan now.”
@timidakolo said, “Oga mechanic please change the colour of my Benz from black to grey make we see if the engine go begin work well. NEPA to PHCN, SARS to SWAT.”