The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says no sane Nigerian can deny that operatives of the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) stay awake all night so that citizens can sleep in peace.
In a statement on Monday, Ishaq Akintola, the organisation’s director and founder, said protesters must be reminded that not all officers of the disbanded police unit are dangerous, adding that #EndSARS protest must not be politicised.
Owing to public outrage over cases of harassment, torture and extra-judicial killings by SARS operatives, Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), disbanded the unit.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said the dissolution of the unit was a first step in improving the operations of the police, and that officers accused of misconduct would be prosecuted.
“We remind #EndSARS protesting youth that not all SARS operatives are callous and vicious. Among them also are officers who have a principle and who devote their whole life to the pursuance of criminals and the protection of innocent Nigerians at the risk of their own lives. They stay awake all night so that Nigerians can sleep in peace. No sane Nigerian can deny this”, Akintola said in the statement.
“Among such SARS officers is Abba Kyari, the renowned super cop who has cracked several hard cases and in whose hands many hardened criminals have met their Waterloo. It is our considered opinion that generalisation will not be fair to such officers who have served Nigeria well. The reform of the Nigerian Police which is being contemplated should take note of such gallant officers.
“To all serving policemen and women, especially those who have consistently exhibited uncommon gallantry, chivalry, sacrifice and courtesy we rise above the angry crowd to appreciate you today. Do not be sad or despondent. Do not say ‘Why are my people doing this to me despite all my sacrifices?’ Accept what is going on as the will of Allah.
“MURIC calls the attention of the Inspector General of Police to the need to permanently remove all roadblocks and to stop policemen from checking vehicle particulars henceforth.
“Instructions to this effect have been issued a hundred times by the police leadership but they were never adhered to. We note with special interest that there has been no single roadblock or police checks of vehicle particulars since the commencement of #EndSARS protests particularly in zones affected by the protests.
“The world is moving fast and Nigeria must not be caught napping. Instead of wasting police manpower and the citizens’ manhour at roadblocks and checkpoints, it is high time we digitalised all registered vehicles.
Those whose particulars expire will be notified by email and text messages. It is only those who fail to comply that will be penalised. The Nigeria Police must up its game. Ditto for the licencing authorities. We cannot afford to remain pedestrian in a jet age”.