Training for personnel of the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) recently announced to replace the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) will commence on Monday, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has said.
A statement on Sunday by the police force spokesman, Frank Mba, quoted the IGP as saying that SWAT would operate within “high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.”
He added, “The IGP reiterates that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will be a member the new tactical team. He notes that the officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven (7) years working experience with clean service records – no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations.”
He also said all the selected officers would be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening, stressing that those found unsuitable would be discharged.
The statement said, “The ICRC, an independent International human rights and humanitarian support organization with over 71years of experience in humanitarian services and institutional support and development, will provide resource persons and materials to handle the human rights components of the training programme.
“Specifically, they will handle topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention amongst others.
“Other areas of the training program will include modern-day police ethics and values, Intelligence-led policing, Operation planning/Tactical decision-making processes, Hostage rescue tactics and operation, weapon handling, first aid/basic life-saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence etc.
“The training modules will be handled by other carefully selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.”
Mba quoted the IGP as asking the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the tactical team.
He said the immediate establishment of a new tactical team was in view of the need to fill the void created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS “particularly during the ‘EMBER Month’ traditionally characterized by an upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.”
He enjoined citizens to be patient and believe in the reform processes which are all “directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all”.
Mba said the police would work with other development partners for the training of the team taking place at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.
Lagos to erect barricade on Ojuelegba Bridge as another container truck falls
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised that barricades will be constructed on the Ojuelegba Bridge to restrict the movement of articulated vehicles.
This is coming just as another container-laden truck Monday fell on the road along the Dopemu area of Lagos.
The truck barrier by the state government is in reaction to the accident on Sunday in which a truck carrying container fell on a passenger bus around the bridge, killing nine people.
Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu, permanent secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), confirmed that two children were among the casualties of the Ojuelegba incident.
Another nine people were injured and treated in a hospital.
The Federal Road Safety Corps in its reaction to the Sunday accident immediately recommended the construction of barricades on the bridge, noting that the cases of loaded trucks falling on vehicles under the bridge were becoming frequent.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has confirmed that another container-laden truck fell Monday on the road along the Dopemu area of Lagos.
LASTMA in a tweet also shared a short clip of the truck, saying the container is “occupying 90 per cent of the road.”
The tweet read, “A 40ft container-laden truck fell at Sawmill inward Dopemu under the bridge.
“It’s occupying 90 percent of the road. Our men are on ground doing the needful as Effort is on for recovery.”
Obasanjo worries about depreciating economy, govt appointments based on favouritism
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed concern about the current state of affairs in the country, especially the continued drop in living standard.
He lamented that government’s appointments were based on “favouritism” and not merit or competence.
The former president said this in a statement while felicitating the Federal Government College, Kaduna, on its 50th anniversary.
He said the economic situation in the country had increased hardship, insecurity, and affected the quality of leadership.
According to him, leaders are more concerned about their selfish interests than the country’s survival, adding that the religious tensions in the country have been intentionally instigated by politicians.
“Once again, our nation is dancing on the precipice and some of us are truly worried about the state of affairs today. I expressed that worry in my open letter to Nigerians and Nigerian youths on New Year’s Day,” he said.
“As I stated in the letter; ‘If we fall prey again, we will have ourselves to blame and no one can say how many more knocks Nigeria can take before it tips over. To be forewarned is to be fore-armed.’ Of course, I pray that Nigeria will never tip over. We must constantly work at it and pray.
“My worry is premised on a number of issues. First, I am concerned that the current state of our nation’s economy has widened the gulf of inequality and left many people in despair. Inflation is on the rise; poverty and hardship have returned to many households. The last decade has reversed many of the economic gains that were made in the first decade of the century. There is a general sense of hopelessness across the nation with seemingly uncontrollable insecurity.
“In addition to the economic hardship is political mischief. Never have we been so politically divided along religious, ethnic and other fault lines and deliberately so. Appointments in government are skewed and lopsided on basis of nepotism and mediocrity and disregard of merit and competence.
“Elections are here and may compound the problem. Political parties and politicians have now been emboldened to discard some of the things that were put in place to give all groups a sense of belonging. Exclusion is being taken as normal. Disunity stares us in the face and many of our leaders are more concerned about their selfish interests than the survival and health of our nation.”
Speaking further, Obasanjo urged Nigerians to change the political course of the country by participating actively in the forthcoming elections.
The former president said the concerns raised about the presidential candidates are real, adding that Nigerians would have themselves to blame if they do nothing about the situation.
The statement read, “Let me reiterate that the concerns being raised about the nature of the options before us in the presidential elections for instance are real and should not be trifled with.
“Nigeria belongs to us all and no part of the country should be left in doubt about their place in this union on any basis whatsoever; ethnic, religious, language, region, culture or social standing.
“The beauty of democracy is that the options before us cannot be imposed on us if we all do what we need to do to send a message to those who have had the audacity to present those options to us with little or no interest for the 225 million Nigerians.
“If we choose to do nothing, we will only have ourselves to blame. If we choose to do the right thing, we will by so doing return this country on the right track; one which gives all our people a sense of belonging and a sense of unity of purpose and a stake in the project Nigeria; a project that will give all of us peace, security, stability, shared prosperity, hope and progress and a place within the comity of nations.”
Updated: Postpone visit to Kano, Ganduje advises Buhari over fuel, new naira anger
Governor of Kano State, Abdulahi Ganduje, has made a request to President Muhammadu Buhari to put on hold his planned visit to the state.
Ganduje’s reason, according to a statement by his media aide, Abba Anwar, is to avert possible embarrassing breakdown of law and order by the ordinary citizens over the complications arising from the fuel scarcity and scarcity of the newly redesigned naira.
Ganduje was quoted to have stated this before some professionals who visited him at the Government House on Friday.
He was quoted as telling his visitors, “As we are waiting for this important visit, we find ourselves in this situation, which puts citizens into untold hardship. For security purposes, we wrote to the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Kano be postponed.
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“We got an acknowledgement copy of the letter. People are really suffering because of this policy.”
Among the visitors were said to be two serving senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Barau Jibrin and Kabiru Gaya, 20 members of the House of Representatives and 30 legislators from the State House of Assembly.
The governor quoted as saying that it has become difficult to transact businesses even with the Point of Sale (POS).
The situation is said to have led to many traders closing their businesses.
“This problem affects all of us.Therefore, our voice must be heard in all nooks and crannies. We are a commercial hub. As such, our position must be loud and clear,” Ganduje said.
The governor also reportedly called for an extension of the deadline for returning old naira notes.
“There are no banks in most of our rural communities. How these people get new naira notes is of great concern. Just look at what is happening in our urban areas; people go and spend hours upon hours in banks without any assurances of getting the new notes,” Ganduje lamented.
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