The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has affirmed thatofficers of the Nigeria police acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints and a few paid the supreme price for peace during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country.
The IGP made this observation following report by Amnesty International dated 21st October, 2020 that Police personnel shot at peaceful protesters. He described the Amnesty Int’l report as untrue, misleading and contrary to all or any available empirical evidences.
The IGP noted that in the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to make sure that the protests were administered during 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 didn’t use excessive force in managing the situations.
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 neighborhood of the protesters.
Despite these unprovoked attacks, our cops never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged within the report.
It also beggars imagination that Amnesty International did not mention or pay tribute to cops who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland.
The Force decries the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by Amnesty International as seen within the report. One wonders if within the estimation of Amnesty International, cops aren’t also citizenry equally entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person.
The IGP, 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, enjoins Amnesty International to make sure they subject their reports to adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making the reports public.