PSC Warns against Inciting Policemen to Avenge Attacks


•Lagos command vows to resist fresh protest

Chiemelie Ezeobi in Lagos and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Police Service Commission (PSC) yesterday warned against social media messages inciting policemen to engage in retaliatory activities against the public.

The commission raised concerns about a social media message inciting police officers and men to go outside their rules of engagement in dealing with the public.
There have been alleged cases of nocturnal meetings held by policemen in states mostly affected by the destruction of police infrastructure across the country to plot reprisals.

THISDAY gathered that some of them were insisting that families of police personnel killed during the #EndSARS protests hijacked by hoodlums must be compensated while destroyed police stations must be repaired before they would resume duties in spite of morale-boosting trips and assurances by government and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu.

The commission, in a statement, said the inciting message encouraging officers and men of the force to take extra-judicial steps against civilians was inimical to the peace and security of the nation.

“This moment does not call for incitement but for a complete renewal of faith in the Nigerian project,” it said in a statement, adding: “The police are expected to conduct themselves with the highest degree of patriotism and in obedience with its rules of engagement.

“The commission is doing its best to see that the welfare of the officers and men are enhanced and worthy of their sacrifice to the Nigerian nation.”
The PSC added that it was seeking to overhaul its logistics so that it will be equipped to discharge its constitutional responsibilities.

“The policemen are enjoined to note that they are required to play a leading role in the search for peace and progress in the country,” the commission said.
The statement, signed by the spokesman of the commission, Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, commiserated with the families of officers who lost their lives and wished those who were injured during the crisis a quick recovery.

Speaking during a recent visit to the FCT Police Command, the IG had charged police personnel to protect themselves if attacked.
“No amount of assault will make us shy away from our responsibilities. Inasmuch as we are aware that the government is behind us.
“So we will encourage you to be professional in performing your duties. We will encourage you to be civic but if anybody touches you, if anybody comes to assault you, you can also protect yourselves. So we are sending the message that we have a right to protect ourselves,” he said.

Lagos Command Vow to Resist Fresh Protest

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command has vowed to resist any planned protest, procession or gathering under any guise or nomenclature in the state, especially in the wake of the violence that rocked the nationwide #EndSARS protest.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, said the move was necessary because the state government and residents are yet to recover from the recent violence in the state.

In a statement yesterday by the state police spokesman, Mr. Olumuyiwa Adejobi, a Superintendent of Police (SP),
Odumosu said the warning was based on intelligence report that another protest was in the offing.

He said: “The command wishes to inform the general public that based on intelligence gathering from relevant intelligence agencies, some unpatriotic elements or group of people have concluded plans to orchestrate another set of violence in the state in furtherance to the recent #EndSARS violence, which has been analysed as dangerous and counterproductive.

“Premised on this, the command, therefore, wishes to warn any individuals, group of students or any groups who might want to stage any form of protest, either “peaceful” or violent, or gathering whatsoever, to desist as the police and other security agencies will collectively and tactically resist any security threats or threats to public peace which might be triggered by protest or protesters in Lagos State.”

It warned parents and guardians to discourage their children or wards from embarking on any protest in the state as the possibility of hijacking it by armed hoodlums to cause grief and pains like the recent past is evident.
“We encourage the general public to ignore any call for protest and go about their lawful businesses as all hands are on deck to maintain law and order and public safety across the length and breadth of the state,” it said.