By Kingsley Omonobi — Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, on Friday, met with Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, and Command Commissioners of Police in the 36 states and the FCT, in Abuja for an overview of the #ENDSARS protests and strategise towards taking back and dominating the Nigerian space.
At the meeting, which was the first physical contact with the senior officers in months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Adamu said the police would never allow another #ENDSARS protest to happen again.
Lamenting that 38 Police officers were killed across the country during the #EndSARS protests, he emphasised that Nigerian Police Force would never allow any kind of violent protest again in any part of the country, saying the Police were prepared to face anyone that attempts to disrupt the peace.
His words: “Criminals that have been threatening our commonly held values for peace and who, in furtherance of our mandate were brought to justice or are subject of ongoing police actions, saw an opportunity in the protests to take their revenge and attempt to weaken the foundation of policing in this country.
“These sets of people found partnership in the subversive elements whose agenda was neither propelled by genuine advocacy for police reform, but the galvanisation and instigation of unsuspecting citizens into an uprising that was directed at endangering our democracy for their parochial political agenda.
“In consequence of the violence that resulted from their actions, several lives of police personnel and other security agents and innocent civilians were lost and many injured.
“In addition, many public, corporate and private assets were either burnt, vandalised or massively looted, while several police facilities and operational assets were attacked.”
Adamu condoled with the families of the 38 officers that lost their lives during the protests and others that may have died or been injured in the course of serving the nation.
Continuing, the IGP said: “As the frontline internal security agency, the Nigeria Police has through the years been grappling with major and complex internal security situations, particularly the activities of terror elements, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, cultists, cybercriminals and other highly-organised national and transnational criminals protest, as well as challenges brought about by the #ENDSARS.
“Your experiences and the strategic approach to preventing and managing such civil unrests in the future shall form part of our discussions in the course of this conference.”
IGP Adamu further stated that with Christmas fast approaching, there was an immediate need for the police chiefs to review their security architecture across their various Commands and Formations and ensure the optimal deployment of personnel to cover all identified vulnerable areas towards ensuring a peaceful yuletide.