The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, on Thursday, visited the Oyo State Police Command, Ibadan to encourage his men to go back to their duties with courage and rid the nation of criminals.
He also listed conditions in which policemen are allowed to use firearms.
He said they should not allow the killing of their colleagues by hoodlums and the destruction of police facilities to demoralise them, saying they had duties to perform as stated by the Nigeria Constitution.
He urged them to show maximum restraint in using their firearms but said they must use them if their lives were in danger or during a riot.
Adamu said there were some bad eggs in the police just like they were in other segments of the society.
The IGP said, “Every Nigerian has their rights, they are called human rights, you too have your rights as human beings and you must protect your rights. Nobody will trample upon your right and go free in as much as you too protect the rights of other Nigerians. You are not supposed to be demoralized.
“Constitutionally, you have the duties to perform in this country, duties to protect lives and property and to fight crime. Therefore, no amount of insult, attacks should prevent you from performing your constitutional duties. We encourage you to go out there and perform your duties the way you were trained to do and you must be civil to members of society.
“Be courageous in doing your job and in the course of doing your job, if anything happens, we will stand by you. But never shy away from performing your duties. If you shy away from performing your duties it means the whole society will be in trouble, the criminals will come out.
“When it is necessary for you to use your firearm, you must use it. Remember the conditions under which you can use it- when there is a riot, you can use your firearm, when people are running away from lawful custody, you can use it. Protection of public assets, you can use your firearm, when your life is in danger and there are no other means to protect yourself, you can use your firearm.
“But you are not supposed to kill, you are supposed to use your firearm to restrain them but not to kill. During the #EndSARS protest that turned violent, many of you showed maximum restraint in dealing with the protesters.
“You were professional to the core in dealing with the protest. You showed maximum restraints and that was why we didn’t have a lot of casualties. So, thank you for that. If you have used your firearm, we would have got a lot of casualties and it would have been a different story. The whole world knows how professional we are.”
The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr Chucks Enwonwu, said the visit of the IGP was a morale booster, saying his men are not ready to abandon their duties for others.
He said the command had remained unshaken and the IGP’s words had redoubled their energy and commitment to make the state safer.