After a joint meeting of law-enforcement officers, in areas worst affected by #EndSARS protests in Southern Nigeria, a police officer (name withheld) who attended the meeting pointed out that Nigerians should not anticipate getting adequate security during the ember months and forthcoming yuletide celebration.
The policeman, who is a Divisional Police Officer (DPO), told PRNigeria, in a chat, that Nigerians should rather find a way to protect themselves from thugs, hoodlums and miscreants during the seasonal period.
According to him, the meeting which was attended by officers of the Nigerian military, security, intelligence and response agencies analysed how the violent assaults on innocent security personnel during the #EndSARS protest, significantly dampened the morale of many of servicemen and women.
“In these ember months, and up to Christmas period and the New Year, I doubt if any of the security services can guarantee maximum security as usual. There is no way we can discharge our statutory responsibilities and function when we have become soft targets of miscreants and violent persons,” he said.
The DPO further said it will be over his dead body to allow any of his officers and men to be drafted to life-threatening beats and assignments during the period.
He added: “Our destroyed facilities are yet to be reconstructed and rehabilitated; our looted armouries are yet to be restocked and when our men and women are yet to get over the humiliation of the atrocities committed on them by the same people we are charged to protect, how can we return to our duty post?”
In the aftermath of the #EndSARS nationwide demonstrations, which turned violent and led to the loss of lives, including that of police personnel, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on Friday, directed men of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to, henceforth, protect themselves against any attack by hoodlums.
Speaking while on an on-the-spot assessment of the security situation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Adamu said: “If anybody touches or assault you, you can also protect yourself.”
But despite the marching directive given by the IGP, it was gathered, from a cross-section of personnel who preferred anonymity, that they are still sceptical on returning to their duty posts, especially in volatile areas in some states.