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HURIWA knocks IGP over plan to set up Police Special Intervention Squad



Civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has kicked against plans by the acting Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, to set up a Special Intervention Squad in the Nigeria Police Force.

The advocacy group, in a statement on Sunday, said the proposed intervention squad which would be deployed to the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT, is akin to chasing shadows and a misplaced priority.

In the statement issued by National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said the Special Intervention Squad may well turn out to be another killer-squad rebranded after the manner of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the hurriedly repackaged Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT).

The statement said what the police needs at the moment are wholesome strategies to rebuild the Police.

The group also cautioned the IGP against “overzealousness but to be very circumspect and build up strategies and implement them to coordinate the rebuilding process of the Nigeria Police Force in Nigeria and in the entire South-East geopolitical zone.”

Read also: IGP creates Special Intervention Squad, to deploy 40,000 nationwide

“IGP Olukayode Egbetokun should be circumspect, especially with his establishment of a Special Intervention Squad which may turn another killer-squad by the Police like the one that caused 2020 nationwide protests. This is unacceptable,” the statement said.

“The IGP shouldn’t be overzealous. Let him be very circumspect, reflect before jumping to create media sensationalism. Police is burdened by corruption, bribery, gross indiscipline, lack of proper trainings, poor facilities and unreliable statistical data. The IGP should build up strategies and implement them to solve these teething problems first.

“The police is non-existent in the South East due to the activities of unknown gunmen and ex-Niger Delta agitator, Asari Dakubo, made a suspicious statement which links him to the phenomenon of unknown gunmen in the South East but IGP is afraid of Dokubo to arrest him.

“Dokubo said his armed mercenaries are in active operations against those he called bandits all across the country, including the South East of Nigeria.

“He said it was his armed mercenaries that are killing bandits and not soldiers. What does he mean by these statements if not a nexus between his mercenaries and the so-called unknown gunmen?

“The IGP should coordinate the police rebuilding process in the South East, build up the intelligence department which is lacking. These are rational objectives than chasing shadows with the superfluous plot to set up a unit within the Police. Egbetokun is chasing shadows and failing to pay attention to the issues that matter.”

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