Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday night, paid tribute to Nigerians for their roles in the eventual disbandment of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
In a statement issued by his media aide, Paul Ibe, Atiku said the will of the people was the bulwark of the democratic system and urged those in authority to respect the people’s will without undermining democracy itself.
He, however, warned against the redeployment of bad eggs in SARS to other police units across the country.
The former vice-president stressed that the affected officers should be properly screened and retrained to ensure that they do not come into their new assignments with the same mindset for which the SARS was known for before its disbandment.
He said: “This was the right thing to do. A system that brutally eliminates our youths is not one to hold on to, and neither can we be proud of it. Now we can start on a clean sheet to envision an elite police unit and a comprehensive overhaul of the police and policing system that is people-focused.”
Atiku urged the Federal Government to set up an independent judicial inquiry to look into the activities of SARS and ensure justice for victims of extrajudicial killings and punishment for officers involved in such dastardly acts.
He also recommended the opening of the dreaded SARS cells for scrutiny and stock taking of detainees.
He further noted that the dissolution of SARS “offers us an opportunity to envision a police and policing system that ensures the primacy of the interest of Nigerians,” adding that the envisaged comprehensive overhaul of the police should take into consideration the needs of regional, state and council components.
The ex- vice president congratulated Nigerian youths on achieving their resolve and reminded them that if they stay united, they can achieve much more.
He enjoined them to be steadfast in ensuring good governance in an egalitarian society.
Atiku also paid tribute to the student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Jimoh Isiaq, who was killed in the #ENDSARS protest in Ogbomoso and all those extra-judicially killed over the years and expressed the hope that their sacrifices would not be in vain.