The Nigeria Police Force has announced the creation of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit to replace the recently-dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
SARS was dissolved days ago following nationwide protests against the extra-judicial activities of the group that have escalated over the past few years.
Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said in a statement on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 that SWAT will fill the gaps left by SARS whose main role was tackling violent crimes especially armed robbery and kidnapping.
Prospective members of the unit will commence training next week at different Police tactical training institutions nationwide, according to a statement signed by Force spokesperson, Frank Mba.
“Prospective members of this new team will also undergo psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment,” the statement read.
Officers of the defunct SARS have also been ordered to return to Force Headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological, and medical examination.
The officers will also be retrained and reoriented before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties, Mba said.
The IGP reiterated his commitment towards the implementation of sweeping Police reforms and called on Nigerians to exercise restraint while protesting.
His previous announcement of the dissolution of SARS had failed to put an end to the protests that started last week.
Protests have especially turned bloody as police officers have used force or opened fire on protesters, with deaths recorded in Lagos and Oyo over the past few days.
Many protesters have also been arrested and assaulted by police officers for participating in the protests.
Many have already called for the IGP’s resignation for the conduct of his officers in policing the peaceful protests.