The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on Friday, begged personnel of the force to return to their duty posts.
The IGP made the appeal while addressing his men at the Federal Capital Territory command in Abuja immediately after he returned from assessment tour to various police facilities destroyed by the hoodlums during #EndSARS protests.
He also charged them to protect themselves against any assault at their respective duty posts.
He said his move to embark upon the tour was to boost the morale of officers who have abandoned the streets for the past few days sequel to various attacks suffered by the security operatives in various states.
According to him, the #EndSARS protesters were out to demoralise the personnel, adding that government and the Nigerian Police Force would soon roll out package for their welfare and those who have lost their lives during the nationwide protests.
He said: “We are here today to tell you that the government is concerned with what happened and the government is behind all of us.
“The federal government is behind all of us.
“You remember the speech Mr President gave, where he said not all police officers are bad.
“Only few that are there are bad, and they have to be reformed and the federal government is fully behind the police.
“And that the federal government will never accept any police officer to lose his life, that the unity of this country lies on the support that is given to police officers because if you’re demoralised, the tendency is for the criminals to take over the public space.
“The country is relying on us to make sure that the public space is not taken over by the criminals.
“So, no amount of provocation, no amount of insult will make us to shy away from our responsibilities in as much as we are aware that government is behind us.
“So, we will encourage you to continue performing your duties, we will encourage you to be professional in performing your duties, and we will encourage you to be civil but if anybody touches you, if anybody comes to assault you, you can also protect yourself.
“When we talk of human rights, the police are humans.
“So, the rights of police officers should also be protected.
“We are sending the message, that legally, we have the rights to protect ourselves.”
The police chief noted that the federal government had vowed to reform all the “bad eggs” within the force, assuring that recently signed Police Act will cater for the welfare of all its personnel.
“The Federal Government has vowed to make sure that from now, the police is reformed in all segments of the Force; whether it is in the area of logistics, welfare to individual officers or to our barracks.
“It is for that reason that the Federal Government, for the past 10 years, the government of this country has been trying to come up with an intervention in terms of police trust fund, where money can be found to take care of police’s needs.
“It is only this government that has been able to see the light of passage of Police Trust Fund.
“So, all our barracks will be taken care of.
“All our logistic requirements in terms of vehicles, in terms of medicals, all segments of what is required of police officers to have for them to perform their duties, the fund will take care of that.
“Not only that, within the new Police Act that has been passed into law, there are a lot of provisions that take care of welfare of police officers.
“It is not administrative way or administrative procedure to take care of your officers but it is now legal that those welfare requirements must be given, and it is this government that passed them into law, that Police Act 2020,” he added.
Committee to assess losses
Shortly after he returned to force headquarters, the IGP inaugurated a 9-man committee to assess losses suffered by the force and pay a condolence visit to all families of deceased police officers and the injured ones.
The committee, which has a Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, as its chairman, is expected to submit its report within three weeks.
Other duties delegated to the committee include; visit to the scenes of the incident and capture the pictorials of all damages done to police infrastructure and personnel; verify the fatalities suffered by the police; establish the weapons holdings that were lost during the incidents and others.
196 suspects arrested, arraigned
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner of Police, FCT command, Bala Ciroma, disclosed that no fewer than 16 major incidences were recorded from violent clashes in Abuja, where 10 lives were lost and several persons sustained varying degrees of injury.
He added that the command has, however, arrested and arraigned 196 suspects in connection with the arson on private property and police outpost in Dutse-Makaranta which was raised down during the mayhem.
Ciroma said: “It is no news that the infamous #ENDSARS movement which commenced on 11th October, 2020 at the Unity Fountain, eventually resulted into violent agitations which festered other criminal activities within the last two weeks in the FCT.
“As a result of this, the command recorded sixteen major incidences resulting from violent clashes which erupted at Berger Round-About, Apo-Kabusa, Dutse-Alhaji.
“This was followed by a high wave of looting and vandalism of public infrastructures, warehouses and other private property at Kubwa, Gwagwalada, Jabi-Daki-Biu, Iddo and Wuye.
“The most devastating of these unpropitious activities was the malicious burning of Dutse-Makaranta Police outpost.
“During the period under review, the command arrested and arraigned 196 suspects before six mobile courts.”