Governors of the 19 northern states have rejected the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria Police Force,contrary to the widespread clamor across the country.
Simon Lalong, Plateau state governor and chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, told State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Thursday that the police unit has been useful in the fight against insecurity in the region.
“SARS is not made up of bad elements alone as it also includes personnel who are doing their work diligently,” he said, arguing that what is needed is the reformation of the unit to enable it to discharge its functions “optimally”.
Meanwhile, protesters against police brutality and extra-judicial killings have taken their demonstration to the National Assembly complex in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The protesters in their numbers stormed the complex displaying placards lamenting extra-judicial killings and demanding justice for victims of police brutality.
They sang songs of solidarity and chanted ‘EndSWAT!’ ‘EndSWAT!’.
Security agents can however be seen forming a barricade at the entrance to the National Assembly complex.
Thousands of protesters across the country have been protesting in the last one week against the harassment, extortion, and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by SARS of the Nigeria Police Force.
The police authorities in response to the outcry of the protesters disbanded the unit and announced the setting up of the Special Weapons and Tactics unit as its replacement but the protests and demonstrations continue nationwide with hashtags #EndSWAT, #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality dominating trends.