In the wake of violence and destruction that trailed the #ENDSARS protests, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has urged policemen to protect themselves if they are assaulted.
Mr Adamu gave the charge while addressing the officers and men of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Police Command on Friday.
According to him, policemen are also human and have a right to life and should protect themselves if they are in any dangerous situation that is a threat to their lives.
He added, however, that no amount of insults and provocation would make the police abandon their responsibilities of protecting lives and properties.
While lauding the policemen for their professionalism during the #ENDSARS protests, the IGP said adequate compensation would be made available to the families of all policemen that lost their lives.
“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,” he said.
He said the Federal Government is fully behind the police and will never accept for any police officer to lose his or her life.
Mr Adamu 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.
“If anyone assaults you, you can protect yourselves. When we talk of human rights, the police are human.
“Their lives should also be protected. We are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves,” he said in part.