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Setting Up SWAT Is Laughable - Ex-Rivers PPRO

A security expert and former spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, Dr. Uche Mike Chukwuma has taken a swipe at the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed over the creation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) to replace the rogue Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), saying the decision was hasty and laughable.

A security expert and former spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, Dr. Uche Mike Chukwuma has taken a swipe at the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed over the creation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) to replace the rogue Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), saying the decision was hasty and laughable.

Dr. Chukwuma who stated this in a live radio programme in Port Harcourt on Saturday, said the nation's police boss was trying to borrow the American policing system, which according to him may not be workable in Nigeria under the present policing system.

He said the system could only succeed in the country if police authorities tabled what he called the super-structure plan on the restructuring table for holistic review and adoption.

He berated the proponents of the SWAT idea for not taking into cognizance the fact that the United States operates state policing.

“We need a policing system that has closeness with the people.  That has relationship with the people, the culture, the environment as well as our religion.

“Now, since you want to emulate the American policing system, you have not addressed the basic issue which is state policing.  State policing has to work in tandem with already established existing federally controlled policing system. 

“The present federal police system in Nigeria has outlived its usefulness and does not know what to do with the people.  It sees the people as a lower class or lower animals”, he submitted.

An author of several books on improving the policing system in Nigeria, Dr. Chukwuma who is the Director-General of Rivers State Neighborhood Watch, also believes that SWAT would not work in Nigeria as according to him,Nigeria operates two policing system.

“The policing system in the North is different from that in the South.  In the north, officers are trained based on the penal code whereas those in the south are trained with the criminal code”, he said.

He said the juxtaposition of officers from north to south and vice versa, in the name of postings, has caused them to lose ground as according to him, “The culture in the north is different from that in the south and officers mostly get confused in terms of application since the culture, environment and religion are quite distinct”.

The security expert who is known for his dogged advocacy for state policing in the country, urged police authorities to adopt his books as resource materials for officers in the force.