The 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed Adamu to embark on wider consultation before the creation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team
The Governors’ at the forum explained that to hear from Nigerians who had been victims of SARS more so, ynoebthat the protest is so intense.
Rising from an emergency meeting held on Thursday, the Governors, said that rather than hurriedly set up a replacement for the defunct unit, the force leadership should have public support by consulting various stakeholders, including youths representatives duly selected by the protesters.
Through a communique issued at end of its 19th teleconference meeting and signed by the NGF’s Chairman, Kayode Fayemi, the governors maintained that any reforms that was devoid of proper stakeholders’ engagement would be greeted with contempt as being currently witnessed in the country.
The governors while commending the force for its commitments to reform, advised that there should be avenues for contributions and comments from the public and other stakeholders in its journey to regain public confidence and acceptability.
“Governors were unanimous in their support for the IGP and endorsed his plans to carry out far-reaching reforms geared towards greater effectiveness, accountability and transparency; for it to effectively carry out its regulatory and supervisory roles in the Nigerian Constitution.
“On the IGP’s Plan to create SWAT, Governors stated that even though the effort might be necessary and in good faith, they argued that the inauspicious as the mood of the nation negates it and may understandably be misinterpreted as a surreptitious move to dress FSARS in another garb
“Governors agreed that there was a need for greater consultations with the public before any decision is taken; Governors, advised the IGP to immediately convene a meeting of all stakeholders and agree on a format of engagement with all state officials in order to address mater arising.
“Governors empasised that reforms must include the training and retraining of operatives on the rules of engagement with the general public, policing in Nigeria must ensure freedom for all Nigerians to carry out lawful and legitimate businesses anywhere in the country without fear of harassment, intimidation or molestation.
“Governors advised that throughout the reform process, the room for consultation may include sessions and direct feedback from the public, stressing that there are no single solutions that apply to all the 36 states of the federation and the capital territory,” the communique read.