Connect with us

News

IGP bans FSARS from stop-and-search patrol

Published

on

– Atiku, Saraki, others knock SARS, demand urgent reform

Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force has come under heavy attack again as many Nigerians including former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki have called for an immediate reform of the unit or scrap it.

This followed a reported shooting of a young man in Ughelli, Delta state, whose video went viral on Saturday. The victim suspected to be a Yahoo boy was said to have been left on the road to die after his vehicle was taken away.

This came as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has banned operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force from routine patrols nationwide.

Celebrities such as Femi Kuti and Kate Henshaw as well as ordinary Nigerians twitting under #EndSARS also condemned other extrajudicial killings by the group.

Atiku said SARS had lost focus and continued to terrorise the people they were meant to protect.

In a series of tweets, the ex-VP said, “The Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the @PoliceNG was set up to confront violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and other related crimes.

“However, the unit has today morphed into an oppressor of the Nigerian masses who strive every day for a better life.

“Reports of intimidation, harassment and outright extortion by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad have continued unabated.

“I strongly condemn their cruel actions against our people, and I urge the government to rise to the occasion and nip this monstrosity in the bud with the seriousness it deserves.

“It is expedient that the activities of SARS are reviewed to ensure that the rogue elements are excised from the unit and sanity returned to its operations.”

Also commenting on the issue, Saraki tweeted, “The reports of the continued harassment, illegal arrest, detention and high handedness by rogue cells of the SARS Unit of @PoliceNG against innocent Nigerians – most of them young people – in spite of efforts to reform the Police & raise standards of policing, are disheartening.

“A situation where the officers of @PoliceNG become a threat to the lives and property of the very citizens they swore to protect is condemnable and unacceptable.

“I call on the Federal Government to immediately put a stop to these reprehensible activities and restructure the unit to better perform its lawful duties of safe guarding the lives and property of the Nigerian people.

A popular musician, Femi Kuti, said, “How many more innocent people must SARS/the police kill before urgent steps are taken to completely overhaul and reform the entire police force? Obviously government and their families are safe must be why they are nonchalant and indifferent.”

Renowned actress Kate Henshaw, stated, “Until SARS kills one of their own…..then and only then will they care…”

Meanwhile, in a statement announcing the IGP ban on patrol by (F)SARS and other related groups, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said on Sunday that no personnel of the Force was authorised to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti.

He stated, “They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear. The IGP’s directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the Force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under this guise to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.

“Specifically, the IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices.

“They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.

“The IGP notes that the FSARS and other Police Tactical Squads remain a critical component of the Force in confronting prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country.

“He however condemns every act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by some personnel of the Squads.

“He has therefore ordered the X-Squad and the Monitoring Unit to embark on immediate and massive nationwide monitoring of activities of Tactical Squads and other police officers.”

News

Zamfara killings: Buhari says it’s time to crush bandits

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari was aghast by the latest orgy of violence visited on innocent people in Zamfara State by bandits and issued a fresh order to security agents to crush the gunmen.

More than 25 people were killed in attacks on Gobirawa, Rini, Gora, and Madoti Dankule in Bakura and Maradun LGAs in Zamfara — the death toll has since risen.

The gunmen were said to have invaded the communities on motorcycles and shot sporadically, on Wednesday.

Reacting, Buhari said the “insane and persistent violence against innocent people must stop”, adding that “such wanton disregard for life will be brought to an end sooner than later”.

A statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday quoted Buhari to have said this, adding,“These criminals should stop pushing their luck too far by believing that the government lacks the capacity to crush them.

“The violence against poor villagers who are struggling with poverty and other severe economic challenges is not going to be tolerated by this administration.”

He directed security agencies to close all existing gaps in their operations while expressing hope that the special operation launched by security agencies will prove decisive in ridding the state of the “frequent and horrifying” bandit activities.

“Let’s not give these criminals any opportunity to succeed by taking the war to their own camps and stop them in their tracks before they even have the time to respond under our massive fire power,” the president added.

Buhari reassured residents of the state of his administration’s determination to defeat the enemies, despite the latest setback.

Continue Reading

News

MASSOB rejects UK asylum offer, says it’s plot against Biafra

Published

on

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has turned down the United Kingdom’s offer of asylum for its members.

It said the offer was an arrangement probably taken with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to divert the attention of the people of Biafra.

A statement by MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, made available to journalists in Enugu, said the asylum offer was part of plans by the Buhari regime hatched with the British government against the emergence of Biafra.

The statement read in part, “The government of Britain is the sole architecture of the political, economic and religious problems of the people of Biafra in Nigeria even till today.

“It has not shown any remorse or apologise to the people of Biafra.

“Britain killed, maimed mesmerised and wounded our fathers, mothers and brethren through the Hausa Fulanis. MASSOB rejects their asylum gift.

“How can the chief persecutor of the people of Biafra suddenly turn to be our pacesetter? Britain and Nigeria can no longer deceive the world again concerning the plights of the people of Biafra.

“Our unified resilience, resolutions and unshakable spirit of no surrender will continue to hunt down this geographical expression called Nigeria.

“MASSOB demands referendum on Biafra not asylum.”

Continue Reading

News

Security: Avoid 14 Nigerian states, US warns citizens

Published

on

The United States has asked its citizens to stay away from 14 Nigerian states considered as hotspots of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.

It stated this in its latest travel advisories even as it urged its citizens to “Reconsider travel to Nigeria”.

The US State Department in the updated advisory added at least 116 countries this week to its ‘Level Four: Do Not Travel’ list.

The UK, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany and others are on the list, citing a “very high level of COVID-19.”

Before Tuesday, the State Department listed 34 out of about 200 countries as “Do Not Travel.” The State Department now lists 150 countries at Level Four.

Nigeria is categorised as Level 3.

Unlike countries categorised as Level 4, based on the advice of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nigeria has a good rating on COVID-19 prevalence.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country”, the State Department said.

It listed areas American visitors should avoid, while in Nigeria as Borno, Yobe, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping.

It also banned American citizens from going to Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and maritime crime.

In a country summary on Nigeria, the U.S. State Department wrote:

“Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country.

“Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.

“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast.

“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather. Terrorists are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.

“There is civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of Southern Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region. Armed criminality, including kidnapping and maritime crime, is also pervasive in this region.”

Continue Reading

Trending