Northern governors have said that their position on the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police was misconstrued by some people.
The governor of Plateau State and chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong, stated this on Wednesday in Kaduna State at the inauguration of a committee on Youths and Civil Societies.
Lalong, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, in October, soon after SARS was disbanded, had told State House correspondents that the police unit was useful in the fight against insecurity in the region.
He had added, “SARS is not made up of bad elements alone as it also includes personnel who are doing their work diligently.”
Different media reports had then interpreted his statement to mean Northern Governors Forum opposition to the disbandment of SARS.
But at the event in Kaduna on Wednesday, Lalong said, “The Northern Governors Forum is not against the disbandment of SARS as misconstrued in some quarters. We rather caution against the blanket condemnation of the police that can erode the confidence and zeal of the hardworking and honest ones in performing their duties of protecting lives and properties.”
On the worsening insecurity in the northern region, Lalong said, “We will tackle the current challenges of insecurity in the region which is dominated by insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, rape, child abuse and trafficking and other conflicts.”
He added, “We shall continue to work with the Federal Government and security agencies to tackle crime and criminality. That is why we have supported a comprehensive reform of police architecture in the country.”
On the committee on Youths and Civil Societies, the governor said the committee has a mandate to create a robust and conducive environment that help the youths to flourish and tackle the current security and economic challenges in the region.
Members of the committee include the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Nuhu Bamali as head; the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, and representatives of youths from the 19 northern states and FCT, religious groups, and civil societies.