Tosan Eyiwunmi, a security expert and consultant to the Nigerian Police, said that no unit to replace SARS had been created.
Speaking to the Media Team, Eyiwunmi explained that, according to the news about the
formation of a SWAT team, any replacement unit has yet to be formed by the police force.
Nigerians have been demonstrating for days against the dismantling of the now disbanded
Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a demonstration that turned into one against brutality from police.
Protests continued to escalate, particularly when the IGP pointed to the development of the
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit as an alternative, despite the announcement of
the dissolution of the SARS unit by Police Inspector-General Mohammed Adamu.
Nigerians assume that, in such a short time frame, the formation of the SWAT team will see
officers recruiting from the disbanded SARS unit and the cycle of brutality will intensify.
Emphasizing on the declaration of the IGP, nevertheless, Eyiwunmi added that a SWAT
team has not yet been formed, nor has a replacement team been established.
“SWAT which means Special Weapons and Tactics is a generic word in the security corridor across the world,” Eyiwunmi stated.
“SWAT is used in America, it is used in Germany and even in Britain. It is not a word that is coined by the Nigeria Police or by the IG.
And As it were, he has not constituted any body or unit. He was just explaining to members
of the public that a unit like SWAT would come in place of the dissolved SARS.
As we speak, there is no new unit like that as he wanted to reassure Nigerians that there
won’t be any vacuum in the security network of the nation.
He was assuring the people that the Nigeria Police Force would live up to its responsibility
by constituting another body that would carry out the duties that would be in tandem with the functions of SWAT.
“SWAT is usually and generally a body that is expected to respond to violent crimes and they work with intelligence and technology,
which is different from SARS. SWAT is not a body that you see everyday on the road. But because the public
misunderstood him, that is why there has been this negative reaction.
“That is in the pipeline. He was only saying, that is what he intended to do.
Before they put it together, those people would have to be specially trained because SWAT is a technical,
tactical that would have to be trained by professionals. It is not a place you put in every Dick, Tom and Harry because it requires well trained personnel.
“Just like the FBI in America is not the regular policemen one finds everywhere, that is how SWAT operatives would function.
“The Mobile Police is created to quell riots but SWAT is meant to work on highly technical matters bothering on intelligence and mostly operate in plain clothes.
For instance, in the case of kidnapping, you can’t wear police uniform to go and arrest kidnappers because you would have
given yourself out already. Before they go, they would have done their investigation and worked on the intelligence gathered.”