It is no longer news that the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has finally bowed to pressure from the #EndSARS protesters to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a special arm set up to combat violent crimes such as robbery and kidnapping. This was made known on Sunday afternoon by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed A Adamu who addressed the press to announce the immediate disbandment of the tactical unit whose trade in stock was allegedly harassing, maiming and killing the people for whom it was set up to protect.
In a speech of 593 words, Adamu proscribed the tactical unit for alleged harassment, maiming and extra judicial killing of the youths in Nigeria. The police chief declared “Following a review of the current developments, and in due cognizance of the wide and legitimately held concerns of well-meaning citizens on the existence and operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, as a responsive and citizens-oriented Police Force, it is hereby directed as follows: The Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police, otherwise known as SARS, is hereby dissolved across all Formations, the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they currently exist.”
In further stating the next steps after the dissolution, Adamu listed a number of actions. He said “All officers and men currently serving in the Unit are to be redeployed with immediate effect. New policing arrangements to address the offences of armed robbery, and other violent crimes that fall within the mandate of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad shall be presented in due course.” He equally proposed that “a Citizens and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum will be formed to regularly interface with the leadership of the police at all levels and advice on police activities. To deal with the reports of crimes committed against citizens, an investigation team will be constituted which will include civil society organisations for transparency, and culprits will be punished.”
Analysis further showed a link between three major words in the IGP’s speech upon which other words are anchored (See Exhibit 1). Police, policing and citizens are the key words in IG Adamu’s speech. These are the major issues of the protests as the citizens trooped to the streets to protest against an arm of the police with their policing method.
Exhibit 1 : Link between the words in the IGP’s SARS Proscription Speech; Source: Adamu (2020); Adebiyi (2020)
Further analysis also indicated that the 593-word statement contains 279 unique words with five major words having high recurrence in the Police Chief’s address. Police, citizens, policing, nation and robbery are the 5 most frequent words used. Police appeared 11 times, citizens 10 times, policing 6 times in that order. Nation and robbery have an equal appearance frequency in the statement (See Exhibits 2 &3).
Exhibit 2: Word Components in the IGP’s SARS Proscription Speech; Source: Adamu (2020); Adebiyi (2020)
Exhibit 3: Word Components in the IGP’s SARS Disbandment Speech; Source: Adebiyi (2020)
IGP Adamu’s speech came with an overall positive sentiment with 16 of his sentences being positive (See Exhibit 4). The press statement also carries analytical, confident and joyful emotions. In declaring the proscription of the SARS unit, the IGP was both confident and analytical. He explained the next steps to be taken. In commending the citizens, the police chief was confident and expressed joy. To assure the nation of his commitment to reforms in the Nigerian Police Force, he was confident and analytical.