SARS problem is about leadership — Former IG, Arase

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A former Inspector-General of Police, Dr Solomon Arase, has said the major issue with the Special Anti-Robbery Squad is leadership.

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Arase asked the police authorities to reshape public perception and redirect the focus of the police unit to its core mandate.

The former police boss spoke in Lagos on Monday on the sidelines of the South-West Regional Security Management Course.

The event with the theme, ‘Protecting the South-West Region in the Age of Catastrophic Terrorism,’ brought together stakeholders from different security agencies.

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Arase asked the police authorities to win the public over.

He said, “The uniform or the hood does not make the monk. It is the individuals; the strategic leadership. What do they want to obtain from SARS? Once you are able to identify what you want to use them for, then you can direct SARS attention and resources to those areas.

“There is no security organisation that can police the security space without the consent of the public. There must be a change in the narrative; the perception of who SARS operatives are have to be changed. Once you are able to win the public to your side, then the issue of perception is settled.”

The state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented on the occasion by the Special Assistant on Security Matters, Mr Adekunle Ajanaku, said the state was working hard to ensure adequate security.