The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday, revealed that the training of selected officers for the Special Weapons and Tactics team would commence on Monday, October 19, 2020. This is in yielding to demands for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad that has generated nationwide protests under the hashtag #EndSARS.
The IGP noted that no ex-SARS operatives were shortlisted in the SWAT team. Adamu also explained that “the officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven (7) years working experience with clean service records – no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations.
“The selected officers shall be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening etc and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged.”
This was contained in a statement on Sunday by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba. The statement was titled, ‘NPF New Tactical Team Commences Training Monday Oct 19’.
Adamu promised Nigerians that the SWAT team “will operate within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.”
He also disclosed that to ensure adequate training and screening of SWAT operatives, the Nigeria Police Force has partnered the International Committee of the Red Cross and other development partners for the training which begins tomorrow at the Police Mobile Force Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.
..the ICRC will handle topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention amongst others.
Other areas of the training program will include modern-day police ethics and values, intelligence-led policing, operation planning/tactical decision-making processes, hostage rescue tactics and operation, weapon handling, first aid/basic life-saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence etc.
The training modules will be handled by other carefully selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.
The IGP sought the cooperation of Nigerians “in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force” while “he enjoined them to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which are all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all.”
For close to two weeks now, the #EndSARS protests have been taking place across major cities in the country with youths calling for the reform of the police force. Major highways across the country have been blocked thereby grounding economic activities.
The youths have been resolute and firm in their stand that they would not leave the streets until the much-needed reforms were actualised.