Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu has asked men and officers of the force to protect themselves if they are assaulted, saying officers have the right to legally protect themselves.
“If anyone assaults you, you can protect yourselves. When we talk of human rights, the police are human; so their lives should also be protected. We are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves,” said Adamu during an assessment tour of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, Abuja, on Friday.
Adamu encouraged operatives, many of whom had abandoned the streets for days following the killing of over 20 policemen in the violence that rocked the country.
He was of the view that the #EndSARS demonstrators were bent on demoralizing policemen and officers, and noted that government, as well as the Force, would soon roll out packages for the families of the deceased officers.
“Despite all the attacks by protesters, you went about to protect them. It became dangerous even for police officers. Individuals were attacked and vehicles and property, destroyed. Thank you for showing restraint. You acted professionally. The aim was to demoralize you but you were exceptional.
“The unity of this country rests on the support that is given to police officers because if the police is demoralized, criminals will take over the public space and the country is relying on us to make sure that the public space is not taken over by the criminals. So no amount of provocation, no amount of insult would make us shy away from our responsibilities.
“For those that lost their lives all over the country during the #ENDSARS protests, they will not die in vain. There will be adequate compensation for them in an extensive manner. They served the country at the expense of their lives.
By Abel Ejikeme