#SARSMustGo: Buhari Addresses Protests, Says SARS Dissolution Is Only The First Step

President Muhammadu Buhari OnoBello

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally addressed Nigerians in a video broadcast, promising that the dissolution of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) is only the beginning of extensive police reform in the country.

In a two-minute video address posted the president’s Twitter handle on Monday October 12, said his government is committed to ensuring that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of Nigerians.

“I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force,” he said.

The President added that operatives of the disbanded SARS found guilty of any form of offense would be brought to justice. “We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful deaths are brought to justice,” he added.

Buhari also commented on the killing of a young man, Jimoh Isiaka, during the #EndSARS protest in Ogbomosho, Oyo state on Saturday, October 10. He expressed his condolences days, “We also deeply regret the loss of life of the young man in Oyo state during the recent demonstrations. I have directed that the circumstances of his death should be thoroughly investigated.”

The President went on to recognize the efforts of genuine police officers who carry out their duties diligently.

He also reiterated his speech in the caption writing, “The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.”

For years there have been several campaigns for the tactical police unit to be disbanded after numerous incidents of abuse including harassment, extortion and extra-judicial killings became worrisome. The latest outrage that sparked over the past week led to widespread protests across many states in the country, also making major international headlines.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, announced on Sunday, October 11 that SARS had been dissolved nationwide. However, the announcement failed to appeal protesters who continued with demonstrations on Monday, demanding to hear directly from the president.

According to the IGP’s directive, all SARS officers are to be redeployed to other police commands, formations and units. A new arrangement is to be made for tackling violent crimes, the primary role of the unit just disbanded.

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