The Nigeria Police Force has said that Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, can’t be scrapped despite calls by many Nigerians.
The Police spokesman, Frank Mba, in a live Instagram chat with popular musician, Naira Marley, stressed that the unit could not be scrapped because it is needed to combat armed robberies and other violent crimes in the country.
According to the spokesman, the police under the leadership of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has been proactive and would not wait for a protest before taking the proper actions.
Mr Mba said the fundamental job of the police is to protect lives and property and they must respect the choice of people to appear how they like.
“There is no law that says dreadlocks, tattoos and other personal choices of appearance are offenses. It is nonsense,” he added.
He assured there will be proper policing of policemen going forward, stressing they must operate within the dictates of the law and established code of conduct.
Mr Mba said if a policeman is doing anything wrong, citizens should take pictures and videos of the situation and send it to them for appropriate action.
He, however, urged that such photos or videos be taken in a manner that does not compromise the taker’s safety.
He said it was not a crime to record a policeman but certain infrastructure and situations should not be recorded for security purposes.
“But if a policeman is doing something wrong, you can take pictures and record videos and send them to us. But make sure you do so safely.
“If you feel in your interactions with the police that they are beginning to cross the line, you can take pictures and videos as long as it is safe for you to do so. When you send them to us, we will definitely follow up the matter and see it to a logical conclusion,” he said.
He also advised against going into arguments with armed security agents.
Mr Mba called on government agencies, well- meaning Nigerians, as well as companies among others to support the Nigerian Police.
The live Instagram chat, monitored by The Nation attracted over 30, 000 participants, including well- known Nigerians.