The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed Policemen to henceforth protect themselves if attacked, considering the way the personnel of the Nigerian Police Force were attacked and several Police Stations burnt during the EndSARS protests across the country.
“If anyone assaults you, you can protect yourselves. When we talk of human rights, the police are human and we have human rights too. Their lives should also be protected. We are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves”.
Adamu made the statement at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command where he addressed the men as part of efforts to boost their morale in the wake of the #ENDSARS protests.
While urging Police personnel not to allow any amount of insults and provocation make them abandon their responsibilities of protecting lives and properties, he said, “If the police is demoralized, criminals will take over the public space and we will not let that happen. No amount of insults and provocation will make us shy away from our responsibilities’.
Emphasizing that Policemen also have a right to life and should protect themselves, the IGP said, “If anybody touches you, If anybody comes to assault you, defend yourself. But can only do this if we are in danger or the situation is dangerous or one that is a threat to their lives.
He lauded the policemen for their professionalism and efforts to protect lives and property as well as maintain law and order during the #ENDSARS protests.
The IGP assured that adequate compensation will be made available to the families of all policemen that lost their lives during the protests.
He commended policemen for showing maximum restraint during the protests, even in the face of provocation saying the aim of the provocation and insults is to demoralise the police which has failed
Continuing, the IGP said the Federal Government is fully behind the police and will never accept not support any police officer losing his or her life.
He said the government is committed to a holistic reformation of the police, a reason the Police Trust Fund was established, and that going forward “everything a policeman needs to perform his duties will be provided.”
“I am here to commiserate with you. I saw how you went to deal with the difficult situation in order to maintain peace and order. This happened because of the #ENDSARS protests, which was supposed to be peaceful but turned violent.
“Despite all the attacks by protesters you went about to protect them. It became dangerous even for even police officers. Individuals were attacked and vehicles and property, destroyed. I thank you for showing restraint. You acted professionally. The aim was to demoralise you but you were exceptional.
“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.
Earlier, FCT Police Commissioner, CP Bala Ciroma, said the Command experienced 16 major incidences resulting from violent clashes which erupted at Berger Roundabout, Apo-Kabusa, Kubwa and Dutse Alhaji, during the protests.
He said it was followed by a high wave of looting and vandalization of public infrastructure, warehouses and other private properties across the city adding that these series of events led to the tragic loss of 10 lives and various degrees of injuries.
Ciroma said the Command has remained resolute in the discharge of its fundamental responsibility of protecting lives and property, but have challenges of operational vehicles, shortage of riot equipment and manpower.
He requested the IGP to oblige the Command additional operational vehicles, manpower and riot equipment to boost their operational capacity.
In the same vain, the IGP Adamu on Friday inaugurated a committee to assess the losses of lives and damages of structures and properties of the Nigeria Police nationwide.
The committee headed by CP Abutu Yaro is to report back in the next three weeks.
Their terms of reference include physically visiting the scenes of the incident and capture the pictorials of damages done to police infrastructure and personnel; verification of fatalities suffered by the police; and establishing the weapons holdings lost during the incident among others.
Niger Delta Militants Threaten To Attack Lagos, Abuja
Niger Delta militants under the aegis of Supreme Egbesu Liberation Fighters have threatened to destroy infrastructure in Lagos State and Abuja .
In a video posted on Tuesday by AIT , members of the group were seen wearing masks and putting on a military uniform .
One of them , who read a statement on behalf of the group , lamented poor implementation of the amnesty programme in the region, saying , “ there are no schools , no potable water , no light , no hospital and access roads for our people to enjoy till date” .
He said , “ Over the years, the Niger Delta people have made frantic efforts to create an enabling environment but to our great dismay, the Nigerian government over the years has decided to handle the issues of the Niger Delta with kid gloves .
“ They have betrayed the struggle and have left the people to their fate ,” a member of the group read from a statement .
“ Rather, what is visible is the presence of military gunboat and the numerous military personnel dispersed to the Niger Delta who are killing, raping , and maiming the innocent people of the region.
“ Look at the security surveillance contract taking place in our region through the federal government these agencies in place have decided to shortchange our people . Now in our territorial waters , it is an Israeli company that is providing waterway security which we have competent hands with expert knowledge to manage.
“ Don ’t worry, because we are coming to destroy all your infrastructure in Abuja and Lagos . As a group committed to giving total liberation to our people , we will destroy the oil facilities both onshore and offshore in no distant time , we will be seen to be crippling the Nigerian economy. ”
Ogun To Arrest Illegal Occupants Of Forest Reserve
The Ogun State government said it would soon start combing its forest reserve to arrest and prosecute illegal occupants .
The State Commissioner for Forestry , Tunji Akinosi , said this while responding to questions from journalists in Abeokuta , the state capital.
Akinosi said the government had written letters to the traditional rulers in the areas asking them to tell the illegal occupants to leave or be arrested .
He said, “ We have asked those that are illegally occupying our lands to leave , and now we are moving to the second stage of combing the areas ourselves and arresting those that are still residents in the reserve. ”
The Commissioner, while speaking on the depleted condition of the forest reserve, said, “ In the last 18 months , this administration has taken the bull by the horn in getting the Imeko and Aworo Forest Reserves back and running .
“ Unfortunately , the depletion did not start right now , it has been there and government this year alone had met twice with the Iledotun project coordinators and had taken 108 ,000 hectares of the forest reserve in Imeko and Aworo for regeneration .
“ We call it LND project , Land Degradation Neutrality project where you bring people of diverse nations to regenerate that place , and I am sure that between now and the next few months , you will see the work that would start there in reclaiming all the land that is there .”
Police Misconduct Responsible For #EndSARS Protests —PSC
The Chairman , Police Service Commission , Musiliu Smith , has attributed the # EndSARS protests to the misconduct of officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
Smith , a former Inspector -General of Police , decried the level of misconduct in the police force saying his office was always inundated with complaints from Nigerians .
The PSC chairman stated this at a retreat with the IG and his police management team , in Abuja on Tuesday .
Smith ’s statement contradicted claims by the Minister of Information and Culture , Lai Mohammed that the October protests were instigated by political and religious leaders .
He also said the demonstrations which were subsequently hijacked by hoodlums leading to widespread violence and looting , were aimed at overthrowing the Federal Government .
But puncturing these claims in his first public comment on the incident , the retired IG said, “ We are always having a lot of complaints from the members of the public against police officers. I believe that # EndSARS resulted from serious misconduct of some of our personnel .
“ I want to advise that we review the arrangements we are making for investigating such cases . Let ’s ensure that investigations are thoroughly conducted and whoever is the police officer that has been indicted will be punished according to the law . If we are doing that , some of the public complaints will go down . ”
Smith , who had been at loggerheads with the police leadership on the recruitment of police constables , also admonished IG Mohammed Adamu to work closely with the commission on the recruitment of credible Nigerians into the force.
Smith added that the number of court cases against the police was alarming , stressing that the force may not be able to pay the damages awarded against it .
In his remarks earlier, the IGP noted that the retreat was to bridge the communication gap and engender a better understanding and working relationship between the force and the police service commission .
The Attorney – General of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Abubukar Malami , who also spoke at the retreat, harped on the need for a harmonious working relationship among all the agencies of the government .