Hasty change from SARS to SWAT shows Police not ready to overhaul system – Col Owonda

Tina Amanda

A Security Expert in Rivers State says the hasty change of name from Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to Special Weapons and Advance Tactics (SWAT), by the Federal Government without total restructuring and overhauling of the system will amount to no good.

In an interview with our Correspondent, Colonel Chinedu Owhonda(Rtd) disclosed that the end of SARS is the beginning of SWAT, made up of the same leadership and operational system.

According to him, before a new system would have taken place, there should have been a proper psychological and attitudinal training in the Police system in order to re-orientate the mindset of the personnel.

“It was so hasty of the Police to change SARS to SWAT instead of restructuring the entire Police force. To me, I believe that the Nigerian Police is not ready to carry out an overhauling in their operational system, because the end of SARS is the beginning of another SWAT.

“Nobody was expecting an instant change, the leadership and ownership have not changed, the personnel are still the same, so what changed? Why are they in a haste to change the name rather than restructure the system, nothing good will come out of it.

“The Youths are clamouring for a change in the Police force, they won’t stop the protest until they see a better change. The entire Nigerian populace are tired and fed up with the system, the change is in our hands.

“People will continue to fight against it because it is still the same personnel and leadership, they must undergo psychological and attitudinal training”

Colonel Owhonda however requested for better welfare package for the Police and other security agencies, as they are being underpaid.

“For there to restructure, there must be a better welfare package for the Police force, their housing allowance should be paid, their kits and uniforms made available and not left for the officers to purchase.

“All the security agencies do not get paid as at when due, there is always delay in their salaries, they are also underpaid. So, these necessary things must be put in place, for the Nigerian Police to function well”