Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has urged police personnel to protect themselves in the face of attack as a result of EndSARS protest, adding however that such should be done within the ambit of the law. Adamu noted that the protest, which lasted for almost two weeks, was aimed at demoralizing and dehumanizing security personnel, but hailed officers for remaining resilient and professional despite attacks. The IGP who stated this yesterday while assessing security situation in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, disclosed that families of officers killed would be handsomely rewarded. He said: “We will encourage you to continue performing your duty and to be civil but if anybody touches you, if anybody comes to assault you, you can also protect yourself. When we talk of human right, the police are human. So, the rights of police officers should also be protected.
“So, we are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves. But, while we are doing that, we will make sure that we are not endangered. You were able to meet up to the standard that is required in quelling protest by not quick in using firearms. That has led to exposure of the way Nigeria police officers especially in FCT are professionally trained to deal with unrest in the country.
“So, I wish to thank you for that resilience. I wish to thank you for that restraint. Everybody including the international community had seen that you have acted professionally.
“The main goal was to demoralize and dehumanise you in order not to perform your duties, but you were not provoked to that extent despite the molestation of some of you in person, you still came out to perform your duty.
“For those officers that lost their lives all over the country, they will not die in vain because adequate compensation will be planned for them in an extensive manner to show that they served their country to the point of losing their lives.
And every Nigerian will be proud that in the course of serving the country, they lost their lives.
The Federal Government has vowed to ensure that that the police is reformed in all segments of the Force; whether it is in the area of logistics, welfare to individual officers up to our barracks.”
Meanwhile, the police boss has inaugurated a 9-man committee headed by CP Abutu Yaro, to carry out an assessment of losses suffered by the Force during the protest across the country. He explained that the terms of reference of the committee include to: “Physically visit the scenes of incident and capture the pictorials of all damages done to police infrastructure and personnel; verify the fatalities suffered by the police; and establish the weapons that were lost during the incidents.”
The committee, which has three weeks to submit its report is also expected to visit families of deceased police officers and the injured “on behalf of the Force.” In his address, the Commissioner of Police, FCT, Bala Ciroma, disclosed that 196 suspects were arraigned, 10 convicted, 1 discharged, 73 granted bail, and 112 remanded. Ciroma added that, “the command recorded sixteen (16) major incidences resulting from violent clashes which erupted at Berger roundabout, Apo-Kabusa, Dutse-Alhaji.
“This was followed by a high wave of looting and vandalization of public infrastructures, warehouses and other private properties at Kubwa, Gwagwalada, Jabi-Daki, Idu, Iddo and Wuye.”