Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday, addressed the nation for the first time amid the ongoing nationwide protests against the brutality and extrajudicial killings by men of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.
In the about two-minute broadcast uploaded on his verified Twitter handle, @MBuhari, the President said the disbandment of the police unit was a first step to “extensive police reforms”.
The President said officials of the disbanded team found to be responsible for wrongful acts would be brought to justice.
Buhari also said he had ordered a probe into the killing of a young man in Oyo State during the recent protests.
He said, “I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force.
“The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.
“We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice.
“We deeply regret the loss of life of the young man in Oyo State during the recent demonstrations.
“I have directed that the circumstances of his death should be thoroughly investigated.
“Meanwhile, it is important to recognise that the vast majority of men and women of the police force are hardworking and diligent in performing their duties.
“The few bad eggs should not be allowed to tarnish the image and reputation of the force.”