Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu Saturday issued a stern warning that “henceforth, any form of attacks on police facilities and public and private assets as well as any life threatening assault on police personnel and citizens in the guise of any form of violent protests must be firmly responded to within the dictates of this constitutional provisions”.
Coming on the heels of a potential resurgence of the #EndSARS protests, Adamu, for the umpteenth time, maintained that the Nigerian Police Force would resist violent and riotous elements planning to launch attacks on innocent citizens, police personnel, other security agencies and public and private infrastructure.
The order, however, included deployment of all legitimate forces to protect lives and property of citizens as well as police officers and personnel of other law enforcement agencies and their families in order to prevent attacks on private and public assets from any violent persons or groups operating under any guise.
In addition, the IG has ordered the withdrawal of police orderlies attached to VIPs including a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and a billionaire businessman, Chief Emeka Offor, among others.
The order directed Commissioners of Police in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, their supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Police Mobile Force Commanders to “resist all riotous elements forthwith and checkmate any form of violent and riotous protests in line with Section 33 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) as is reasonably necessary for the defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property; in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained and for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny”.
Consequently, the order stated further: “Henceforth, any form of attacks on police facilities and public and private assets as well as any life threatening assault on police personnel and citizens in the guise of any form of violent protests must be firmly responded to within the dictates of this constitutional provisions”.
A statement by Force PRO and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Frank Mba, recalled that in the wake of the #EndSARS protests and the violence that emanated therefrom, a total of 51 civilian fatalities and 37 civilian injuries were, recorded, while a total of 22 policemen were gruesomely murdered and 26 others injured by the protesters.
It said 205 police stations, corporate facilities and private property were attacked, burnt or vandalised.
The IG, in the statement, assured law abiding citizens across the country of the force’s renewed and unwavering commitment to their safety and security especially, as the nation approaches the yuletide.
He, therefore, called for the collaboration and support of citizens in the ongoing reforms of the Force.
Similarly, Adamu has ordered the immediate withdrawal of police personnel attached to some prominent pastors and citizens including Femi Fani-Kayode, Hon. Abiola Sidna Peller, Senator Magnus Abe and Emeka Offor among others.
Others are Senator Lado Yakubu, Amb Yuguda Bashir, Hon. Uche Chukwu, Senator Boroface Ajayi, Hon Mutiu Nicholas, Senator Tokumbo Afikuyomi, Edozie Madu, David Adesanya, Hon. Chris Giwa, Chief Godwin Ekpo and Chief Pius Akinyelure.
The IG directive also affected corporate and religious bodies notably Christ Embassy, Think Nigeria First Initiative, Uche Sylva International, Stanel Groups, KYC Holding and some bishops and sheiks.
A police message signed by Principal Staff Officer to the IG, DCP Idowu Owohunwa, read: “The attention of the IGP has been drawn to the fact that the police personnel attached to the corporate bodies and personalities are yet to be withdrawn in spite of extant directives to that effect.”
In the letter with reference number “CB: 4001/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.116/32” and made available to CPs PMF, CP SPU, CP CPU and all Commissioners of Police in the 36 states and the FCT, the IG directed commanders to “withdraw all the PMF, SPU, CTU, or conventional police operations attached to the affected companies or individuals in any of their locations across the country with immediate effect.”
The directive said the commanders were to submit a report confirming compliance to the directive to IG’s office not later than November 10.