The disbandment of Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad popularity known as SARS, has no doubt, created a vacuum in policing across the country. The negative effect on policing the country has equally been confirmed by the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba who recently commented on it. The disbandment of SARS can be argued to have contributed to the surge of criminal activities in the country as we are currently experiencing across the nation.
Although the disbanding of SARS came as a result of public outcry and numerous complaints about human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings by men of SARS. However, a critical look at things will point to the fact that our problem is not not SARS itself, but lack of discipline among its members. SARS as it is commonly known, was a special Police Unit, established to tackle armed robbery, kidnapping and related crimes, and could not have been a problem to the public. But lack of discipline among its members saw the Police unit, became a nightmare to the Nigerian Youths.
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It is no longer a secret, that what triggered the #ENDSARS protest that rocked the country around October, 2020 was due to the numerous human rights abuses and killings of innocent youths by the men of SARS. With this, the solution to the problem should have been to sanitize the system to flush out the bad eggs. However, the then Inspector General of Police, succumbed to the pressure and disbanded SARS, this creating a vacuum in policing across the country.
Considering the recent rise in criminal activities across the country, it is my view that SARS should be restored. SARS as a police unit was never a problem. As such, the unit should be restored with highly disciplined officers constituted as its members. The reason why it should be restored is to help tackle the wave of attacks that are currently going on in different parts of the country.
It is not enough to disband the team without having alternative for it. As such, it has become important that the complaints of the people are addressed, and equally ensure that those found guilty are sanctioned. SARS should be redesigned in line with international best practices. Human rights must be valued and protected. Without violation, the masses would not have asked for its disbandment. Therefore, the unit should be restored as it is crucial to the fight against crime in the country.