By Dipo Olowookere
A new unit has been created by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, to replace the recently disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
A statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the spokesman of the police, Mr Frank Mba, disclosed that the new team would be called Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).
According to Mr Mba, prospective members of this new unit will also undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.
“They are to commence training at the different police tactical training institutions nationwide, next week,” the statement from the image-maker said.
On Sunday, after days of protests tagged #EndSARS, the police hierarchy dissolved SARS and redeployed men of the unit to the regular police.
However, this was rejected by the protesters, who demanded the psychological and medical evaluation of the officers before being redeployed.
This demand and four others were met this afternoon after the #EndSARS protest gained more momentum both locally and internally.
In the statement issued by Mr Mba, he said the police chief “ordered all personnel of the defunct SARS to report at the force headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.”
“The officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties,” he noted.
According to Mr Mba, “The medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU), a unit, which henceforth shall engage in psychological management, re-orientation and training of officers of the force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.”
He stated that, “The unit, which is domiciled with the Force Medical Department and coordinated by the Force Medical Officer, has its membership drawn from amongst psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, Public Relations practitioners, civil society and other human rights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise.”
The IGP has in the meantime appealed to members of the public, particularly protesting citizens, to exercise restraint and allow measures being put in place to come to fruition and engender a police force that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry.
He reaffirmed “his irrevocable commitment towards the successful and holistic implementation of the police reforms.”
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