The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has apologised to Nigerians over the excesses of some police officers that resulted in last year’s #EndSARS protests.
The police also said they have learnt their lessons and appropriate steps are being taken to ensure effective policing in the country.
The protests, held in some states, called for an end to police brutality and the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit infamous for its notoriety and human rights abuses.
According to Guardian, the new Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 11, comprising Oyo and Osun states, Agunbiade Oluyemi, stated this during his visit to Oyo State, where the new Commissioner of Police (CP), Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, received him.
Oluyemi, who met strategic stakeholders in the state’s security architecture, including religious, traditional, and market leaders, as well as the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), also held a private meeting with top police officers in the state.
He maintained that some Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives missed the point when they started arresting suspected Internet fraudsters, undergraduates, and other youths with laptops in the country.
He also urged members of the public to report policemen in mufti, saying the Force Headquarters had mandated all officers who must carry out assignments on the road or highway to wear their uniforms.
The police boss cautioned people against tagging crime and criminal activities to some particular ethnic groups, noting that such acts could lead to an ethnic crisis.
He said, “We want all stakeholders to appeal to members of the public that the police are now back stronger and we are ready to work for the people. We will have a robust relationship with the public and we want Nigerians to have confidence in us and give us useful information.
“There is no way criminals will overcome us. The crimes they commit affect all of us in one way or another. We won’t allow criminals to have their way and we have rolled out new strategies in tackling the criminals.
“The new Police Constabularies that were just recruited will be complementing the Force in intelligence gathering for effective service delivery and we have also marked out some strategies that will make our job easier and more effective.”