Northern Governors Still Want SARS – Gov. Lalong

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau

Most Northern Governors are opposed to the recent disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has said.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Lalong, who doubles as Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, said there was however a consensus opinion on the need for police reforms.

According to him, “In one aspect, some people said they don’t 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.

 “If there are bad ones, holistically, bring them together and reform them. So, our opinion and conclusion at that stage was that let us not just say that we are throwing away the baby with bath water. 

“If there are good ones, you don’t chase them away. So, as SARS is banned, we are now looking forward to…because most of the States in the North said no. They (states in the North) said no they want SARS because SARS helps them.

“Borno Governor Babagana Zullum said without SARS, he would not have been surviving today. Niger (Governor) 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 can’t say because somebody is wrong, everybody is wrong in the country. These are some of the issues we concluded yesterday. And It’s for the Chairman (NGF) 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 (NGF) all agreed that there must be general reform within the police. But you can’t do general reform without proper funding. You must address the issue of proper funding so that they don’t say government is responsible for lack of funding and we attack them for non-performance of their duties.

“I’m sure our Chairman will meet Mr President. We all went back that everybody should go back and address the issue in his State. Because in some of the States, you find that people moving people to do protest are people from other states.

“But in real sense, some of the things (#EndSARS protesters) are not even happening in our States or they are very minimal. If there are complaints that people are coming outside, let’s not begin to generalize it or we will miss the point. Let’s address it and find out if in those environments, things are happening like this, we must go back.

“It’s 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, Governor Lalong argued.

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