Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has stated that the police are in the process of acquiring and deploying less lethal weaponry during operations.
Adamu made this known on Thursday, in Osogbo, Osun state capital, at the inauguration of a zonal security stakeholders’ forum, a community policing concept for the police zone XI comprising Ondo, Osun and Oyo states.
NAN reports that the forum was aimed at galvanising the people of the three states toward identifying and partnering with the police to address peculiar security challenges.
The IGP, who was represented by Taiwo Lakanu, deputy inspector general of police, said he had commenced the process of addressing factors that engender conflict and distrust between the citizens and the police, particularly issues bordering on misuse of firearms and sundry abuses of police powers.
“Toward this end, we are in the process of migrating from total dependence on lethal weaponry as first line of police operations toward acquiring and deploying less lethal weaponry such as taser or stun guns,” said the police IG.
“Under the new policy, personnel on low-risk policing duties like routine patrols, arrest duties, and civil disorder management will be armed with taser guns or stun guns as a strategic approach toward reducing incidents of fatalities associated with misapplication of lethal weapons by the police when faced with low level threats.”
The IGP also directed that policemen across the country work eight hours daily.
Adamu, who announced the directive at a conference of heads of police medical facilities on Thursday, said this is to curtail work-related stress.
The work structure for the Nigeria police force is currently a 12-hour shift but Adamu said the new shifts will reduce the misuse of firearms and extra-judicial killings in the country.
“I have ordered that with immediate effect, the shift duty structure of the Nigeria police should be reverted to the traditional eight-hours, three-shift standard,” the police IG said at the conference holding in Abuja.
“For purpose of clarity, henceforth, no personnel should be made to perform any duty exceeding 8-hours within a space of 24 hours.”
He explained that the directive was to address an “age-long occupational stress” which long hours of duty engenders among personnel of the force.
According to him, policing is a highly demanding job physically, mentally and psychologically, required a good state of mind adding that the only time the duty structure should exceed eight hours is during emergency.