The Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba, has attributed rising insecurity across Nigeria to recent disbandment of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the force, saying their absence in various police formations in the country had emboldened criminals.
According to him, the disbandment of SARS has created a vacuum in the effort of the Nigeria Police to tackle insecurity in the country.
Speaking on Thursday at the Presidential briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the presidential villa, Abuja, maintained that result of protest against police brutality that rocked Nigeria last year had affected the morale of police officers in the country.
The police boss, who regretted that regular policemen and women have not been able to immediately fill the vacuum created by the SARS disbandment, added that efforts were ongoing to train them for the new role.
“The security situation of the country has been significantly stabilise from time to time but we think if it is stabilising then are isolated insurgency coming from these zones in terms of attacks on police facilities and police personnel, even all law enforcement agencies including the military,” he said.
“Therefore, we decided to, one, rejig the morale of our personnel, which has been a little bit dampened since the #EndSARS thing went. With the proscription of SARS and establishment of SWAT, which has not been able to take off fully, we had a vacuum in tackling most of the violent crimes from our position of strength,” he said.
On the plan to recruit 10,000 new police personnel, he revealed that the process has reached 70 per cent, assuring that the exercise would stick to the Federal Character principle.
It would be recalled that after days of protests both online and offline by youths calling for outright scrapping of the unit over alleged brutality and killings of innocent Nigerians, former Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Muhammad, last October dissolved SARS in line with yearnings of Nigerians.
This is coming as he also disclosed that officers attached to the unit nationwide would be redeployed to other police formations and commands across the country in line with demands by Nigerians protesting extra-judicial killings by SARS operatives.
The police boss explained that dissolution which takes immediate effect would be done across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed in response to yearnings of the Nigerian people.