By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Citizens Action for Good Governance (CAGG), Friday, called for reform of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSAR), and not ban.
This was the position of the group in a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Nazir Galadanchi, where they called on the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, to rather come up with measures to reform the Squad.
Addressing a Press Conference in Abuja, CAGG explained why FSARS should be restored, reinstated, and reformed with best global practices of combating crimes and criminals.
According to the group it is also expressed concern over the infiltration of some unscrupulous elements in the Squad that have portrayed the great job FSARS has been doing to secure lives and property of Nigerians in a bad light but could be addressed.
Explaining why FSARS should not be banned the group said the current worrisome state of insecurity on the interstate and intra-state roads; Foiling of robbery plans and bursting of robbery operations; Rapid response and bravery in confronting criminals; Victory recorded in operations; Efficiency, Effectiveness and Service Delivery; and Patriotism and charisma; Criminals fear FSARS operatives.
The statement reads in part, “It is with dismay and heavy heart that we state here as bonafide Nigerians that the action of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, to ban FSARS from major areas of the society that needs serious attention to provide 24 hours security, is hasty and like throwing the baby with the bathing water and humbly lend our voice to the call for reform of the FSARS to mitigate and further improve our security architecture.
“We know that in every organization including the family there are bad eggs that are in a few numbers compared to the rest persons who are sacrificially and professionally doing their job.
“We want to give due respect to the views of Nigerians calling for the shutdown and ban of FSARS because they are entitled to their opinions on this matter. But we unequivocally state that there is no need to be in a hurry to ban FSARS because of few bad eggs that have given the Squad a bad name and put it in a bad light before the world.
“Meanwhile, we appreciate efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari over the security of lives and property which has been Mr President’s cardinal agenda.
“We still want to passionately appeal to the IGP to reconsider this ban of FSARS but instead reform it for the general interest of Nigerians. Let us not allow criminals to smile and unleash terror on innocent Nigerians because of some dissenting voices. We believe in the professionalism and integrity of FSARS, and we are looking at the larger picture from the citizens’ security angle.
We know and the IGP also knows that there s room for improvement and not to throw away the baby with the bath-water. The needful should be done for FSARS to be reinstated and take its rightful place in the security industry, and Nigerians need them most at this particular time, and not allow criminals to take advantage of the situation and we begin to regret it.
On this not, we say, FSARS reform is the Answer. FSARS reform is the way to go. A reformed FSARS is a secured Nigeria.
“Nigeria will be better with a reformed FSARS. Reforming FSARS will guarantee a safer Nigeria. Fish out the bad officers in FSARS. We believe in the IGP’s leadership style. Reform FSARS for effective policing. Pls IG doesn’t scrap FSARS!”
Meanwhile, the group made some recommendations that would place FSARS as a world-class Police Squad with a difference; Reforms and retraining; the Squad need not to be ban but there should be a mechanism of reforms and retraining of officers and men in the Squad that makes it more efficient and professional in discharging their duties. This will go a long way to curtail some excess and over-steeping their scope of assignment or operation.
“Quality Control: This is another mechanism that will help to control officers and men who could derail from their primary assignment and it will also weed out bad eggs from the Squad. This should be put in place in order to get the best of FSARS operatives.
“Sanitization of FSARS: This is another approach to clear personnel who have not been professional in discharging their duties. This should be in a way of conducting tests, or interviews and monitoring.
“Enlightenment on Rules of Engagement; This is should be a major area that should be properly handled to make personnel of FSARS understand their assignment as professional Police officers. When they understand the rules of engagement they will be more careful and professional in their job, hence reduce the hue and cry of Nigerians.
“Better welfare; When operatives of FSARS are given better welfare they will not be tempted to be lured by citizens who are influential with their position, wealth, and connection to do what is not part of their rules of engagement.
“Checks and balances; This should be done regularly as a way of self-evaluation among personnel and also external committees to assess them and their operations.
“Public Feedback; This is very important for any excesses to be identified and taken out without delay. There should be telephone numbers, social media platforms that will give room to the public to send feedback about FSARS’ operations in their respective areas whereby they can interact, lay complaints, commendations, recommendations, and possibly reward personnel with outstanding performance.
“Medical Check-ups of FSARS operatives; There should be medical check-ups for personnel to identify those with mental issues, psychological challenges, drug addiction, and others in order to prevent unnecessary provocations, intimidation, and oppression.
“Government should reward outstanding performances of FSARS as a way of motivation and commitment to duty; and incentives should be provided for operatives of FSARS for more commitment and sacrifice to secure lives and property of Nigerians.
“We know IGP Adamu listens and he will do what we are explaining to him at this point.”