SWAT Training: The Focus Should Be Human Rights By Ebi Robert



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By Ebi Robert

I have seen the video of the ongoing Swat training somewhere in the North. What I saw was some officers undergoing some martial arts trainings, tactical weapon usage on the offensive and defensive, convert operation moves, parades, etc.

I do no not think that an average police man is new to these things. While I cannot rule out the fact that they needed to be trained in combatting the crimes for which they are training to fight (i.e. arm robbery, kidnapping), I think that much focus should be given to Human Rights' training. 

The Nigeria Police through the training team of the SWAT should work with the National Human Rights Commission, the Nigerian Bar Association, and other Human Rights organizations to school the concerned officers on human rights' protection. For all I know, the police is lagging behind on this aspect. They practically know little or nothing about human rights protection and promotion, and that is a major challenge in the system.

More effort should be channeled to this area, and the implications associated with the abuse of rights. If possible, a year can be used to teach them the general concept of fundamental human rights, and their exceptions; their implications and means of enforcement. They needed to be trained mentally to see civilians as people they are to protect, and not "bloody civilians" as some security operatives see them or call them.

Apart from this, a special monitoring sub-unit within the SWAT team should be formed to act as a watchdog over the SWAT team. With this and many more, the SWAT team may come out better refined and prepared.

The SWAT TEAM should live with the highest level of human rights standards, and human dignity, and act as a role model to other police officers and units.

I say this with all alacrity because so far as the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad is concerned, it was a clear case of human rights abuses that eliminated it. It has always been about Human Rights violation, so much effort should be put into instilling that in the unit. 

"Veronica, My Darling" parade song is not the focus, but a civilized cop that Nigeria will be proud of. Let those in government prove to the citizens for once that they are serious minded people. 

I am saying this since they have concluded that SWAT is here to stay, so, the best I can do is to advise. 

By Ebi Robert

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