Kate Osamor, a member of the United Kingdom parliament, has urged the nation to stop funding some Nigerian security agencies she described as “corrupt”.
The MP stated this while speaking at the parliament’s debate on the #EndSARS crisis. She suggested that the government should instead focus on programmes targeted at poverty alleviation.
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She specifically pointed out how the UK funded a training for former operatives of the now dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and how the trainings continued, despite the numerous indictments the squad had faced on previous occasions.
It was reported that the UK trained SARS personnel for four years through the CSSF-funded Nigeria Policing Programme, which ended in March 2020.
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Osamor described the #EndSARS crisis as “regrettably serious”, and added that beyond sanctioning the Nigerian government for alleged abuses, the UK must pay closer attention to its funding for certain programmes.
“Today, we need to consider how the government responds to both the movement itself and the violent actions of the Nigerian regime,” she said.
“We must also take this opportunity to look beyond sanctions into how development funding is spent in Nigeria.
“Instead of funding corrupt security agencies and investing in projects which do not benefit ordinary Nigerians, we need a new focus on poverty relief and anti-corruption programmes.
“At the very moment in which Amnesty International had declared SARS units to have been involved in extra-judicial killings, corruption and torture, the government was using the budget to train and equip those units.”