Buhari finally speaks on SARS disbandment, says bad eggs must be prosecuted

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that erring officers in the police will be prosecuted in line with efforts to reform the security agency.

Buhari gave the assurance on Monday during the launch of the presidential youth empowerment scheme (P-YES) in Abuja.

He said the dissolution of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) is only a first step in improving the operations of the police.

On Sunday, Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police (IGP), bowed to pressure following nationwide protests and scrapped the anti-robbery squad of which operatives are notorious for abuse of human rights and extrajudicial killings.

But the protests have continued across the country, with many citizens calling for justice for victims of SARS brutality. The protesters also demanded a “complete reform” of the police.

Buhari, who has been accused of turning a blind eye to the protests, said while erring officers will be brought to book, majority of Nigeria police personnel are “diligent in performing their duties”.

”I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force,’’ Femi Adesina, his spokesman, quoted him as saying via a statement.

”The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.

”We will also ensure that all those responsible for the misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice.

”Meanwhile, it is important to recognise that the vast majority of men and women of the police force are hardworking and diligent in performing their duties.

”The few bad eggs should not be allowed to tarnish the image and reputation of the force.”

The president also lamented the killing of Jimoh Isiaq, one of the protesters, in Ogbomosho, Oyo state, adding: “I have directed that the circumstances of his death should be thoroughly investigated”.

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