As the October 20 date set aside by Nigerian youths to commemorate the killing of EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate, draws near, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, has assured that there is no plan to bring back the disbanded Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS).
The statement from the IGP follows a reaction to media reports purportedly from him, where he was quoted to have listed conditions for bringing back the dread police unit.
The statement of the police chief comes at a time when several Nigerians believe that men of the unit are still operating in many states of the federation despite the ban placed on it.
CP Frank Mba, who spoke on behalf of the IGP, stated:
The attention of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has been drawn to a false news report making the rounds online and offline suggesting that the inspector-general of police has ordered the re-establishment of the defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS).
The Force wishes to categorically emphasise that there is no plan whatsoever to bring back the disbanded SARS. SARS is gone for good and will not resurrect under any guise whatsoever.
The IGP notes that the Force has since reorganised its operational structure to fill the vacuum created by the disbandment of SARS. Currently, the leadership of the Force is focused on efforts at deepening reforms within the police and bequeathing Nigerans a police force that will be more effective, efficient, technology-driven, humane and rule of law-compliant.
The IGP therefore calls on members of the public to disregard the report which is absolutely false and deliberately intended to disinform and misinform members of the public.
Recall that unarmed protesters were, on October 20, 2020, shot at by men of the Nigerian security forces at the Lekki tollgate, leaving at least ten dead and several others injured.
Although the Nigerian Army first said its personnel were neither at the site of the protest nor shot at the protesters. It later stated that soldiers were at the scene of the event but blank shots were fired and not live ammunition.