#EndSARS Protest: Police Were Professional, Exercised Maximum Restraints – IGP Tells Amnesty Int’l
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has insisted that officers of the Nigeria Police Force acted professionally and exercised commendable restraints during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country.
He said some also paid the supreme price in the process.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Dcp Frank Mba on Friday, the IGP made the observation following a report by Amnesty International dated October 21, that Police personnel shot at peaceful protesters.
He described the report as untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidence.
The IGP insisted that during the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters.
He reiterated that even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.
Speaking further, the IGP noted that the report only covered casualties on the side of protesters, describing it as ‘discriminatory’ because the police likewise recorded several casualties.
“Available reports show that twenty-two (22) police personnel were extra-judicially killed by some rampaging protesters and scores injured during the protests. Many of the injured personnel are in life-threatening conditions at the hospitals.
“Two hundred and five (205) Police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by a section of the protesters,” the statement read.
“Despite these unprovoked attacks, our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged in the report. It also beggars imagination that Amnesty International failed to mention or pay tribute to Police officers who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland.
“The Force decries the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by Amnesty International as seen in the report. One wonders if in the estimation of Amnesty International, police officers are not also human beings equally entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person.”
While noting that the Force is committed to the Federal Government’s ongoing holistic reforms of the NPF targeted at improving service delivery, positive police-citizen relationship and respect for human rights, the Police Chief enjoined Amnesty International to ensure they subject their reports to adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making the reports public.