The Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has tasked police officers to protect themselves in face of eminent danger.
Adamu handed the charge during a visit to the FCT Command Headquarters, Abuja, to commensurate with the officers and men on losses suffered during the #EndSARS protest which turned violent leading to loss of lives and destruction of property in parts of the country.
Adamu, who earlier was on an assessment tour of the NYSC Orientation Camp, Kubwa, following vandalism of facilities by suspected hoodlums who were said to have infiltrated the #EndSARS protest, said the lives of police officers matter and must be protected.
The Police boss commended officers and men of the FCT Police Command for maintaining the peace and providing protection for the EndSARS protesters during the protest which eventually turned violent with roads being blocked, police stations being burnt.
“We witnessed how the command maintained peace and protected the protesters during the protest which started peacefully but became violent with roads being blocked, property belonging to individuals were attacked, police stations were burnt, police officers were assaulted and killed because the protesters wanted to provoke you.
“The violence were aimed at testing you. They wanted to provoke you so that you will use maximum force and they can justify police brutality, however, because of your resilience and professional training you didn’t use force on the protesters.
“They provoked you but you still came out to perform your duties.We thank you for this. It show how professional our officers are, especially officers of the FCT Police Command. I assure you that officers who lost their lives will not die in vain because adequate compensation has been planned for them. They served their country and even lost their lives.
“Speaking further, the Police boss said: “No amount of provocation or insult will make us shy away from our duties and responsibilities so far as we know that government is behind us.
“Protect yourselves when assaulted. Lives of police officers must be protected. They are humans and should be protected. We are sending the message that legally we have the right to protect ourselves but we must make sure that we are in danger.”
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FCT, CP Bala Ciroma, said: “Your visit to the command during this hour of trial for the Nigeria Police force and the FCT Command in particular, is apt and will go a long way in boosting the morale of the officers and men of the Command…”
The Command recorded 16 major incidences resulting from violent clashes erupted at Berger Round-Abiut, Apo-Kabusa, Kubwa, Dutse-Alhaji.
This was followed by a high wave of looting and vandalism of public infrastructure, warehouse, and other private property at Kunwa, Gwagwalada, Jabi-Daki-Biu, Idu, Iddo and Wuye.
“These series of events led to the tragic loss of 10 lives, several persons with various deft es of injury, some vehicles and properties set ablaze while others were vandalised. The most devastating of these unpropitious activities was the malicious burning of Dutse-Makaranta Police Outpost,” he said.