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#EndSars: Former IGP lauds FG moves, calls for more training for personnel

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Police officers walk between protestors during a protest against abuses by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) at the Lekki toll Plaza in Lagos, on October 12, 2020. – Nigerians protested to pressure the government to follow through on disbanding a feared police unit after authorities made the rare concession in the face of widespread anger over abuses.<br />Around 2,000 people blocked one of the main highways in the country’s biggest city Lagos, demanding officials make good on an announcement on October 11, 2020, that the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was being scrapped. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Mr Sunday Ehindero, a former Inspector General of Police, has lauded Federal Government’s moves in forming the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) to replace the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

Ehindero told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday that the issue of regular training and retraining of the personnel would also bring about the required change from the new outfit.

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“I am more interested in trainings. Any group that you have to bring in whatever name must be trained properly before they perform whatever duty that is required of them.

“The society is getting enlightened and what is obtainable some years ago is not what is obtainable now. So, you have to change with the society by organising regular trainings.

“Lack of training and capacity building programme has been the main problem of getting quality officers to discharge their duties properly in the service,” he said.

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Ehindero said that SARS was supposed to be the teeth of the police in terms of confronting robbers, adding that reforming them was significant to achieve the initial objectives for creating them.

“SARS is not a bad outfit, it is just that we have bad operators in the outfit.

“There is no organisation that does what we call quality control more than the police. However, each year we will need to weed out the bad eggs according to the extent of crime they committed,” he said.

The former police chief said that the government had done well for the police in reforming the police act which would take care of human rights and the conduct of policemen.

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“The inadequacies in the force in terms of equipment, welfare and building will be taken care of partially. I am sure that the Police Trust Fund now will address the problem of trainings in the force,” he said.

Ehindero, however, urged the youths to be a little cautious and tactical with the way they were going about the protest.

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“They should try to desist from creating unrest and disturbing people who are going about their respective businesses.

“They have made their point and I think they should wait on the government to react to their demands.

“Fortunately, the government has reacted positively by scrapping SARS and their willingness to reform the police,” the retired IGP said.

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