The Convener of Nigerians Unite Against Terror (NUAT), Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin has noted that the recent calls for the end of Nigeria Police Force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) showed negligence of previous recommendations of how the police should conduct its engagement with citizens.
Dr. Okei-Odumakin who is also the President of Women Arise and Centre for Change stated this in a statement made available on Wednesday.
She recalled how the Women Arise through NUAT in 2016, embarked on a nationwide advocacy which resulted to various meetings in an effort to address issues surrounding SARS activities.
She explained that there was “an agreement between our group and the leadership of the Nigeria Police on the training of SARS personnel, which held across the 12 zonal commands of the force simultaneously between 19th October – 21st October , 2016.
“The training, titled “Humans Rights: Strategies for cordial Police-Citizens’ Relations”, for SARS officers in the 12 Police Zonal Commands aimed at enhancing the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force through training on human rights and citizens’ relations with a view to facilitating respect and defence of the fundamental rights of citizens.
“We also aimed to bring about cordial relationship between the citizen and the police.
“Beyond a reorientation of the Police, it was also our aim to advocate for the eradication of crime and terror in the country by working with the Police and other law enforcement agencies, using training, campaign, education, information-sharing, network-building, and other sensitizations for police/citizens cordial relations to eradicate insecurity in Nigeria.”
She, however, expressed disappointment that the Police and its personnel are still entangled around issues that were raised earlier.
“This suggests a negligence of previous recommendations of how the police should conduct its engagement with citizens,” she noted.
“We do, therefore, sincerely hope that the ongoing agitations will ginger the police leadership to address these core issues and genuinely address our concerns as Nigerians,” Dr. Okei-Odumakin added.