The National Missioner of Al-Fatihul Quareeb Islamic Society of Nigeria, Shiekh Abdurahman Sulaiman Adangba has also waded into the ongoing discussion on #ReformPolice and #EndSARS, noting that he’s not against the agitation but one must be circumspect about the motives of those pushing it.
Sheikh Adangba queried why people are still on the streets after the federal government disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and assured of complete police reform.
While speaking with Muslim News, he said, “One must be very careful about agitations like this. Those behind it have their own motives. So, if we are going to join them, we are going with our own different thinking.
“If the federal government says it has banned SARS, then why is the protest enduring? If they are fighting to reform the police, that’s quite understandable. But if they are saying end SARS while the government has banned SARS with the introduction of a new outfit, so where are we going from there?
“You will be surprised that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu also joined the protesters in Lagos. So, who are we protesting against? If we are protesting against the government and Sanwo-Olu is a part of the government, and he’s now joining EndSARS protest, is the agitation not turning to a butt of joke?”
Sheikh Adangba told Muslim News that the faith-based organisation was already preparing a position paper on the matter, adding that invite would be extended to the press when the time is right.
“As far as we are concerned, we are still trying to sit down and bring out a paper. By the time we are done, we will invite media organisations to state our own perspective,” he noted.
The renowned Lagos-based scholar also spoke on police reform, asserting that any move to reform the police should follow a deep understanding of the working of the police establishment, especially the key areas that need attention.
For Sheikh Adangba, one of the genuine reforms the police need is pay rise, as he lamented the pitiable salary structure of the officers.
“There are some hidden preferences in reforming the police. First of all, we have to know what is going on in the police establishment before asking for reform. What are we reforming? Is it the salary? Or the structure of policing? Or the way of policing?
“The IGP said they are going to mobilize the officers of the disbanded SARS for psychological and medical test. I don’t think that’s what we really need. There is a viral information saying that a sergeant in the Force is getting N50,000 per month. That’s next to nothing. Meanwhile, somebody sitting in the Assembly, eating and dosing off, gets millions. I think they should increase their salary.
“Still on the reform, if we say they should provide them with housing, are we saying they do not have barracks? We also need to know if it is the police that are not good or the Nigerian citizenry. So, before reforming the police, we should know their present status.”
He reiterated his stance of not being against the EndSARS agitation, saying however that there should be a better replacement that would cater for the vacuum the disbandment of SARS would create.
“For the record, I am not against the #EndPoliceBrutality or #EndSARS. But if SARS is ended, there should be a replacement for it in the country. If it is SARS that’s not okay, there should be another unit that would secure the citizens. So, I’m not against EndSARS, but at the same time, we should be very careful of what we are seeking so that we do not end up messing ourselves up.”