From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki and Billy Graham Abel, Yola
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, yesterday, urged men and officers of the force to use their firearms whenever their lives were in danger.
The IGP, who stated this at the Ebonyi State Police Command, Abakaliki, during a one-day working visi, added that police officers were special breed of Nigerians charged with the responsibility of protecting lives and property of citizens.
The police boss who was not pleased with the number of deaths involving police officers and destruction of police stations during the last EndSARS protest said such violent protests would never be allowed to happen again.
Adamu directed men and officers of the Nigerian police to use maximum force to suppress any form of violent protests, following laid down rules of engagement.
He called on police officers not be demoralised following the negative impact that occasioned the protests as the police high command had put modalities in place to ensure improvement in the welfare of all serving and retired officers.
He said: “When your life is danger you, use your fire arm. You are not meant to kill but to maim. Shot the suspect on the leg not on the heart.”
Meanwhile, the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) said it has directed its members across the northern states and Abuja to confront any group of people organising a second wave of EndSARS protests, claiming the protest has long outlived its usefulness.
It warned that it would not sit back and allow rogue elements to plunge Nigerians into another hardship in view of the already ailing economy.
Its National Chairman, Elliot Afiyo, told newsmen in Yola, the forum acknowledged the grievances of the protesting youths but regretted the fact that the protest was hijacked by hoodlums which caused serious damage to the economy.
“From the intelligence reports we received from our zonal and state coordinators and also from some of our members in the security circle, the second wave of protests as planned by their sponsors should not be allowed to take place in any of the northern states and Abuja. The forum is in possession of credible intelligence reports which shows that sponsors of the protests have strategised to bring down completely the already recessed Nigerian economy so as to give way for a military takeover and final disintegration of the country.
“We want to sound a serious warning to the organisers and all their sponsors to discontinue their plans and embrace dialogue or face whatever consequences as a result of the protests.
“All our zonal and state chapters are fully mobilised and prepared for violent confrontation with the protesters in any part of the North and Abuja,” the forum maintained.
The forum called on the federal and northern governments and all security agencies to take proactive measures to avert “this impending crisis.”
“If this government is perceived to have failed, then we ought to change it through the ballot box in 2023.”
The forum said it regretted the role it played in endorsing and campaigning for Muhammadu Buhari, lamenting that APC-led government has failed everyone, hence the group would not back any candidate from the North West in 2023.