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Minister of Police Affairs explains why SWAT was created a day after SARS was disbanded

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The Minister of Police affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi has explained the reason the Police force swiftly created the Special Weapons and Tactics Team division a day after disbanding the rogue Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit. 

NewsWireNGR confirms that he made the assertion on Wednesday while speaking on Channels television evening show, POLITICS TODAY.

The Minister also said that SWAT had to be quickly established because there is a constant insecurity problem and the assignments initially carried out by the defunct SARS unit had to be done by another.  

The SARS unit was scrapped following demands of a two weeks EndSAS  protests where thousands of Nigerians marched across cities demanding an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, a police unit accused of extrajudicial killings and abuses.

Dingyadi, added, that the new SWAT unit is made up of existing Police officers and they did not draft in volunteers. 

He said, “Many people have expressed concerns about the swift reaction but we need to understand that this issue of insecurity is at every hour presence and we have to take steps to fill in the gap and that is why we established a new unit to replace SARS. The assignment being done by SARS before they were disbanded is there to be performed by somebody”. 

The minister continued, “So, we needed to quicken the process to ensure that there is a unit in place that is in charge of these things. And we can not take them in to take charge of these without giving them training and a new order so that they do not go and repeat the same mistake as SARS.”

The minister also waded in on concerns around the common use of sophisticated weapons like the AK-47 by Police officers. He said the Police force is satisfied with the use but the new SWAT unit will combine the use of these weapons with intelligence. 

“The AK-47 you are talking about, we think we are satisfied with the way it is being used and we have no intention to change the weapon that they are using. But with the changing trends in this century, we may consider the possibility of bringing in new types of weapons that you see in other places. But for now, we are going to continue with the AK-47, it serves the purpose that they are meant to serve.” 

The Minister pleaded with Nigerians that the Police are infusing intelligence and ethics into the training of the newly formed SWAT so that they will not repeat the mistakes of SARS. 

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