Police Affairs Minister, Muhammad Dingyadi, has explained the reason government intends to stick with the AK-47 assault rifle as weapon of choice for the newly-formed Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) of the Nigeria Police.
Dingyadi spoke when he appeared on Channels television’s programme, ‘Politics Today’, on Wednesday.
On whether SWAT will continue to carry the AK-47 rifle as was done by the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) the minister answered in the affirmative.
He, however, said that the new police unit would combine their weapon with intelligence.
“The AK-47 you are talking about, we think we are satisfied with the way it is being used and we have no intention to change the weapon that they are using. But with the changing trends in this century, we may consider the possibility of bringing in new types of weapons that you see in other places. But for now, we are going to continue with the AK-47, it serves the purpose that they are meant to serve,” Dingyadi said.
wHe said SWAT was hastily set up to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
He said that the Nigeria Police Force did so because of the insecurity problem and urgent need for another security unit to perform the assignment SARS was undertaking.
“Many people have expressed concerns about the swift reaction but we need to understand that this issue of insecurity is at every hour presence and we have to take steps to fill in the gap and that is why we established a new unit to replace SARS. The assignment being done by SARS before they were disbanded is there to be performed by somebody.
“So, we needed to quicken the process to ensure that there is a unit in place that is in charge of these things. And we can not take them in to take charge of these without giving them training and a new order so that they do not go and repeat the same mistake as SARS,” he said.
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