Hundreds of youths across Jigawa State, on Thursday, converged in Dutse, the state’s capital, protesting in support of SWAT, and calling for better equipment for the police to fight banditry.
The youth, who carried various placards, marched around major roads, starting from the investment building, through Hakimi street, terminated their march at the deputy’s governor’s office.
The protest, convened by Musbahu Basirka, under the auspices of Human Right Network, was meant to support the newly created Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) following the dissolution of SARS.
Mr Basirka said the disbandment of the SARS is not in the interest of all Nigerians, especially the citizens of Jigawa State facing farmers, herders’ crisis and kidnapping. He said that the SARS are at the forefront in securing the lives and properties in the state.
“Jigawa retained its position as (the) most peaceful state in Nigeria, following the role played by the disbanded SARS operatives and other security outfits in promoting peaceful coexistence,” Mr Basirka said.
The official called on the Nigerian government to provide all the necessary operational equipment and provide good welfare to all security personnel.
The protesters also demanded that the Jigawa police command incorporate civil societies in its investigation committee as directed by the Inspector General of Police.
The SWAT should, as a matter of urgency, put more efforts in curtailing the cases of rape and other social vices in the state, rape cases should be thoroughly investigated with the aid of the civil society who may be ever ready to provide reliable information, Mr Basirka said.
While receiving the protesters, the state governor, Muhammad Badaru, commended the group for the peaceful protest promising that their demand would be delivered to the president for appropriate action.
The governor said the president is committed to the security of the lives of Nigerians, going by the fact that public gathering is now common without fear of bomb blasts, as witnessed before.
‘Nigerians can now go about their normal activities in their places of worship, markets and that justify improvement in the security.
‘The SARS was formed to curtail the activities of armed robbery in the country and they have done wonderfully well in the area in tackling the menace,’ the governor said.
However, the president, being the peoples’ leader, responded swiftly in the disbandment of SARS. The dissolution doesn’t mean SARS has not done well, the official said.
‘The SWAT formation is in the right direction, that means the president doesn’t compromise in the issue of security. SWAT will be trained in accordance with the established principles of respecting human rights,’ Mr Badaru said.
The governor was represented by his deputy, Umar Namadi.
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