A former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro, has advised against the ban of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mohammed Adamu on October 4 banned the personnel of the FSARS and other tactical squads of the force from routine patrols.
Other tactical squads affected by the ban include the Special Tactical Squad, Intelligence Response Team , Anti-Cultism Squad and other tactical squads operating at the federal, zonal and command levels were banned from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties notably stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks among others.
Mr Okiro, who gave the advice in an interview with NAN on Thursday in Abuja, said that the squad should be rebranded and refocused for effective service delivery.
“The police management should go to the drawing board and retrain personnel of the SARS as it will be counter-productive to disband them.
“You cannot throw away the baby with the bathwater, if they have deviated from what they were established for they should be retrained and refocused,“ he said.
“Armed robbers will be happy that there is no more SARS in the country but are Nigerians ready for that?” he said.
He said that the squad had derailed from the primary purpose of tackling armed robbery that it was established for.
“Members of the SARS are doing things that are different from their training, “he said.
He called for stiff punishment for any member of the squad who violates the code of conduct to serve as a deterrent to others.
The former police boss said that it was unfortunate that the squad have now delved into cases of debt recovery and other matters aside armed robbery.
He called for adequate funding of the force for training and retraining of its personnel and to acquire modern equipment for effective service delivery.