The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on Tuesday, November 3, said that 1,590 suspects have been arrested across the country in respect of the #EndSars protest which turned violent after it was hijacked by hoodlums.
Adamu said this while addressing police officers and newsmen at the Lagos State Command Headquarters, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit to burnt police formations and injured police officers in Lagos.
The IGP commended his officers for showing professionalism during the protest by showing restraint and not engaging the protesters violently.
“When they campaigned against SARS they came up with five demands and after about four days protest, the authorities acceded to those demands because they were demands that could lead to reforming SARS.
“Our expectation was that after that, the protesters will all go back and leave the streets, but then they didn’t.
“Every security agent knows that when people come out to protest without observing the protocol, there is always a tendency for the protest to subsequently turn violent,” he said.
Adamu said that 14 states in the country were badly affected as a result of the violent protest with Lagos State the worst hit.
“We witnessed the destruction of public properties as well as police stations and businesses.
“The attack by hoodlums in this manner has the tendency to provoke the police and when we are provoked we have the capacity and strength to repel these people.
“However, we have shown restraint by not using maximum force to repel the hoodlums and criminals that went about destroying properties and killing people.
“So, that resilience that you have in showing restrain has shown that no amount of provocation will lead you to give credence to what they have been preaching on police brutality,” he said.
The IGP commended police officers for this quality, saying it turned the table around against the protesters.
“I am happy to note that not everybody in the country agreed with the violence not everybody agrees that police are bad.
“Every organisation and institution in any country breeds few bad eggs just like we have a few in the police that is bad, however, the majority of Nigerian Police officers are good,” he said.
Adamu said that the federal government has decided to specially treat policemen through reform initiatives that will enable them to continue to do their constitutional responsibilities across the country.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, requested that the IGP should consider and approve posthumous special promotions for the police personnel who lost their lives during the protest.
“This will give succour to their families and boost the morale of the serving officers and men of the NPF,” he said.
Odumosu said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had promised to take full responsibilities for the bills of police personnel that sustained various degrees of injuries.
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