Return to Duty Posts, Defend Yourselves, PSC, IGP Tell Police Officers
Men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have gotten the nod to defend themselves against any attack by hoodlums anywhere in the country.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, told police officers on Friday that they should henceforth protect themselves in the event of attack by hoodlums.
Speaking while on an on-the-spot assessment of the security situation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Adamu said: “If anybody touches or assaults you, you can also protect yourself.”
He said the policemen also have rights that must be protected.
“When we talk of human right, the police are human, so the rights of police officers should also be protected. We are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves. But while we are doing that, we should make sure until we are in danger,” he said.
He also said protesters deliberately provoke police personnel to use maximum force so that they can proclaim police brutality.
All this came in the aftermath of the EndSARS protests nationwide, which turned violent and led to loss of lives, including that of a number of police personnel in some places.
The police chief reacted to Amnesty International’s report of Wednesday which claimed that police personnel shot at peaceful protesters, saying that his men acted professionally and exercised commendable restraints while some paid the supreme price for peace.
He dismissed the report as untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidences.
Meanwhile, the Police Service Commission (PSC) has frowned on the refusal of some policemen to return to their duty posts following the killing of about 22 of their colleagues during the #EndSARS protests across the country.
The PSC said Public Service Rules, which also applies to members of the Nigeria Police Force, prescribes dismissal for any officer that deserted his job, while admonishing them to put the killing of their colleagues behind them.
While agreeing that policemen should not have been killed, the noted that the attack on them by hoodlums should also not be an excuse for them to stay away from work.
Recall that the killing of policemen by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests has forced men of the Force to stay away from blackspots and their duty posts.
Riot policemen equally defied the order of the inspector-general of police, who asked them to reclaim the public space from hoodlums who were looting and vandalising public and private property.
Senior officers had expressed fear for their lives, saying their security was not guaranteed hence their decision to stay away from work.