Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, has said that the police high command has concluded plans to establish a new Special Intervention Squad (SIS) for quick intervention during times of crisis anywhere in the country. The IGP stated this during a courtesy call on the executive governor of Kano State, Abba Kabir Yusuf, at the Government House of the state. He sought the cooperation of the Kano State governor to succeed with the establishing of the unit. Kano was selected as one of the pilot states for the implementation of the initiative.
He said that the arrangement is that where there is a crisis or violent crime in Nigeria, the dedicated squad can easily be deployed to take care of those challenges. According to him, the new squad will be specially equipped and well-remunerated to meet the overwhelming security challenges. The IGP said that the squad will be so motivated to do their job. He called for support from the Kano state government, stressing that the success of the initiative will also depend on the cooperation the Police get from the state government.
Kano governor said the state is ready to assist the police in the endeavor.
In his response, the Kano State governor expressed his appreciation for the way policing is taking place in the state. He said that it has drastically reduced some of the security challenges in the state since the advent of the new administration. He explained further that the Kano State Government has put in place arrangements to support the Nigeria Police Force in carrying out its duties in the state, which includes the new initiative of the IGP.
According to the governor, the current administration came on board when there were serious insecurity challenges in the state. These include thuggery, phone snatching, armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry and so on. He said that the state government is very serious and has a good relationship with the police authorities. “I want to assure you that we will continue doing our best to ensure that we achieve peace in the state and deal with the insecurity issues bedeviling the state,“ the governor stated.
Drug abuse as a menace in the state is spotlighted.
The governor further called on the IGP to support the state in its fight against drug abuse and other related menace in the state. According to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kano has the highest drug abuse rate in the country. This is based on the number of seizures, arrests of addicts, and convictions of arrested dealers. In the country as a whole, a report by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime in Nigeria indicates that 14.4 percent of people aged between 15 and 64 years abuse drugs.
This amounts to about 14 million people. Factors that have been reported to have contributed to the high prevalence of psychoactive substance use in Nigeria included social factors like peer group influence, unhealthy family background such as illegitimate relationships, broken homes, alcoholic parents or involvement of parents in antisocial and illegal activities. However, the police plays an active role in stopping the menace by effecting arrests and duly recommending addicts to relevant authorities for therapy and treatment.
Concerns whether this new unit is the new SARS.
Governor Yusuf commended the Nigeria Police for their neutral position during the 2023 general elections in Kano State and indeed the entire country. Meanwhile, concerns whether this new squad will morph into the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of which massive protests were held against are valid. Nigerians have witnessed police brutality and impunity go unpunished long enough to be wary of a new unit that will be equipped even much more than SARS. The police need to monitor the unit so that the personnel do not misuse their powers.
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