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SUSPEND SWAT NOW, GOVERNORS TELL IGP

...Coalition Generates N77m For ENDSARS Protests

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has advised the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to suspend the introduction of the Special Weapons Tactics (SWAT) team, the new team that will replace the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The Governors, in a communique yesterday, said they held a meeting with Adamu on the formation.

The communique signed by NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, hailed the plan for far-reaching reforms for accountability, greater effectiveness, and transparency.

The governors, however, stressed that there was a need for greater consultation with the public.They advised Adamu to “convene a meeting of all stakeholders and agree on a format of engagement with state officials”.

The governors warned that the mood of Nigerians should be considered as SWAT implementation may be seen as an attempt to simply rebrand SARS.

The communique disclosed that Adamu told them that after a psychological and medical evaluation, 50 SWAT Officers will be trained and posted to all State Commands.

He assured that they will not take part in routine operations, operate specifically on intelligence and return to their commands.

In another development, a Feminist Coalition, a not-for-profit organisation and one of the leading supporters of the #EndSARS campaign, says it has received over N77m cash donations in favour of the ongoing protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings by men of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.

The group, whose objectives include “fighting injustice through peaceful protests, fundraising, and social media organisation” disclosed this in a statement on Thursday titled, ‘Progress Report – October 15th, 2020’.

It said the funds were raised “through the generosity of well-meaning people and concerned Nigerians who want their voices to be heard and their demands to be met.”

The statement partly read, “Over the past week, there has been a peaceful uprising by the Nigerian youth, demanding for the disbandment of the notorious SARS unit, and the end to police brutality and an unjust judicial system.

“Like everyone else, we decided to play our part and help fight the injustice through fundraising in order to sustain the peaceful protests and ensure the safety of Nigerians exercising their civic rights – by providing food, water and other refreshments, masks, medical aid, and legal aid for protesters.

“We have raised a total sum of: NGN 62,643,663.05; USD 11,474.34 (N4.3m), CAD 5,595.89 (N1.6m), GBP 5,733.49 (N2.8m), EUR 875.42 (N390,225), GHS 1,256.70 (N81,823), KES 53,016.60 (183,656) and BTC 1.28827988 (N5.5m).

“With these funds, we have supported 100 peaceful protests in 25 states, paid NGN 759,080 in medical bills for injured protesters, donated NGN 400,000 to the families of victims murdered by police officers while protesting peacefully, paid NGN 500,000 in legal aid and spent N 11,367,500 on supplies including food, water, mask among other things for the peaceful protesters.

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