Fulani Kwajafa, the ex commissioner of police behind the setting up of the dissolved special anti-robbery squad (SARS), says he regrets creating the unit.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, Kwajafa pronounced that over time, SARS deflected from the intent for which it was established.
Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police (IGP), dissolved the anti-robbery unit on Sunday, after a nationwide indignation.
Speaking on how the now defunct SARS came to existence, Kwajafa narrated that in the 1980s, there was an increase in criminal activities in the country, particularly in Lagos.
In reference to Kwajafa, Muhammadu Buhari who was head of state at that time, instructed Etim Inyang, then inspector-general of police, to crop up a strategy to deal with the armed robbery incidents in the country.
“The IGP called me that we should do something to save the country from armed robbery incidents; I accepted the offer and requested for time and materials. I then mobilised personnel for the task,” Kwajafa said.
“Four months after the formation of SARS in 1984, the unit flushed out the criminals and there was peace.”
He also disclosed that in the original plan of SARS, its personnels were not meant to be involved with “members of the public”.
The former police commissioner mentioned that some members of SARS, nonetheless, are now fond of he same crime they were formed to fight against.
“SARS of today is not the same SARS I established in 1984. This is not the SARS we formed in the 80s, I use to be ashamed that I am the person that created the SARS because of their activities, had it been I knew such things will happen, I could not have created the unit,” he said.
“I always tell my wife that I was sad that what I created with good purpose and direction has been turned into banditry.”
Speaking on the new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit meant to replace SARS, Kwajafa opined that changes might be undermined if there is no “change in mentality”.