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Norths states want SARS, says Lalong

Published by The Nation on Fri, 16 Oct 2020

By Bolaji Ogundele, AbujaGovernors in the North have disagreed with the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).They argued that the police squad was critical to security in the region.The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong stated this on Thursday.He spoke after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation in the North and the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).The governor said what is needed was the reformation of SARS to enable it discharge its functions optimally.According to him, SARS was not made up of only bad elements, but personnel who were doing their work diligently.He said the baby should not be thrown away with the bath water as the police unit had been useful in the fight against insecurity in the north.Some people said they dont want SARS, some said they want SARS but a reformed SARS. They want a reformed SARS because as far as they are concerned, some of these SARS operatives help them in addressing insecurity.Read Also:North-East elders back calls for drop of Service ChiefsIf there are bad ones under, holistically, bring them together and reform them. Then, you work for them. So, our opinion and conclusion at that stage was that let us not just say that we are throwing away the baby with the bath water. If there are good ones, you dont chase them away.So, as SARS is banned, we are now looking forward to an opinion because most of the states in the north said no. They want SARS because SARS helps them.Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum said without SARS, he would not have been surviving today. Niger State also wants SARS.So, if you are addressing this issue of SARS, you need to know what is wrong in some places. Is it the process of recruitment' Is it the character of the people' You cant say because somebody is wrong, everybody is wrong in the country.These are some of the issues we concluded yesterday. And its for the chairman to go and meet Mr President to still look at this issue holistically and critically so that we understand where we are going.On a whole, we all agreed that there must be general reform within the police. But you cant do general reform without proper funding. You must address the issue of proper funding so that they dont say government is responsible for lack of funding and we attack them for non-performance of their duties. Im sure our Chairman will meet Mr President.He pointed out that the protest against the squad is not huge, adding that in some states, protesters are being mobilised by people from other states.We all want everybody to go back and address the issue in his state. But in real sense, some of the things are not even happening in our state or they are very minimal.If there are complaints that people are coming outside, lets not begin to generalize it or we will miss the point. Let address it and find out if in those environment, things are happening like this, we must go back.Its just like we are addressing Coronavirus. When we say Coronavirus is everywhere. At the end of the day, we said no. In some places, Coronavirus is not there. We generalize, he explained.
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