The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, on Tuesday stated that some “mischievous” politicians are behind the campaign for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
Some Nigerians had over the weekend used the social media to condemn the rights violations and “careless” disregard for human lives by SARS operatives. They went beyond the condemnation to creating #EndSARSNow, which has been trending on Twitter since then.
Only yesterday, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, responded to the initiative with a directive that SARS should be reorganised for efficiency and accountability, but rejected calls for the scrapping of the embattled detachment of the police. Avenues were however provided through which members of the public can register their grievances against SARS.
Amongst the new measures to be adopted is the stripping of state commissioners of the power to control SARS at state level. A new commissioner to be based at Force Headquarters, Abuja, will now control SARS throughout the country.
But speaking during a live Channels Television programme, Moshood said the alleged originator of the hashtag, Jega Awosanya Segun, is under investigation, pointing out that he had links to some unnamed politicians.
According to the FPRO, “somebody who had an ulterior motive put up #EndSARS, Nigerians should be mindful because the social media is very porous.
“We traced the hashtag and traced it to mischievous politicians that are trying to create problem in the system that SARS is a stumbling block for them to achieve objective in the election and we are investigating this.
“The owner of the hashtag is being investigated. We know freedom of expression is the right of every Nigerian and we are taking people up because of that.
“It is quite unfortunate, I’m not mentioning any name but this same Jega Awosanya Segun is the owner of the hastag and we have seen his picture with various crop of politicians and we are investigating that for Nigerians to know the reason why.”
Moshood maintained that SARS “is not a killing machine” as “it was created to deal with cases of robbery and any other case the offender carries firearm”.
He said: “SARS is been doing very very well. We are not saying that there is no infraction, if there is an infrcation, not only on SARS personnel but conventional policemen – people should report to us.
“We want to disabuse their minds that SARS should be ended. But when you have complain, complain to us. For a lot of people pushing their remarks on social media, most of them are not correct.”