I regret creating SARS, says Kwajafa, retired police commissioner

A former commissioner of police and the brain behind the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS), Fulani Kwajafa, has expressed regret for ceating the notorious police squad.

Kwajafa who made the disclosure in an interview with BBC Hausa, said over time, SARS derailed from the intent for which it was created.

The retired police commissioner explained that in the 1980s, there was an upsurge in criminal activities in the country, especially in Lagos.

According to him, Muhammadu Buhari, then head of state, ordered Etim Inyang, then inspector-general of police, to come up with a strategy to tackle the armed robbery incidents in the country.

Kwajafa told the BBC, “The IGP called me that we should do something to save the country from armed robbery incidents; I accepted the offer and requested for time and materials. I then mobilised personnel for the task.”

“Four months after the formation of SARS in 1984, the unit flushed out the criminals and there was peace.”

He added that in the original plan of SARS, its operatives were not meant to be involved with “members of the public” but unfortunately, according to him, some members of SARS, now indulge in the same crime they were formed to fight against.

He continued, “SARS of today is not the same SARS I established in 1984. This is not the SARS we formed in the 80s, I use to be ashamed that I am the person that created the SARS because of their activities, had it been I knew such things will happen, I could not have created the unit.”

“I always tell my wife that I was sad that what I created with good purpose and direction has been turned into banditry.”

On the new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit meant to replace SARS, Kwajafa said changes might be undermined if there is no “change in mentality”.

Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, disbanded the anti-robbery unit on Sunday, following a nationwide protest by youths over its excesses.

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