EndSARS Protest – IGP Orders Deployment of Anti-riot Police Officers as NUJ Urges Buhari to Speak Up.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered immediate nationwide deployment of anti-riot police unit otherwise called the Police Mobile Force (PMF) to protect lives and property of all Nigerians and secure critical national infrastructure across the country.
This was coming as Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described as alarming the continued silence of President Muhammadu Buhari over the #EndSARSProtests that have engulfed the country.
Adamu has also ordered massive deployment of police operatives to strengthen security around correctional facilities nationwide.
IGP’s orders were coming on the heels of increasing attacks including acts of arson and malicious damage to public and private facilities as recorded in some states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
To this end, Commissioners of Police in 36 states of the federation and FCT “are to identify and isolate law-breakers from peaceful protesters; immediately arrest and diligently prosecute such perpetrators of violence in their respective commands.”
IGP noted that 12 suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks and arson on police stations in Benin, Edo State, adding that “five AK47 rifles earlier stolen from vandalised police stations have also been recovered.”
Adamu, in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, called on members of the public to avail the police with useful information that could lead to the re-arrest of the fleeing inmates, unlawfully released from correctional facilities.
He has advised “parents/guardians to prevail on their children/wards to steer-clear of acts of violence and criminality as the Force will henceforth exercise the full powers of the law to prevent any further attempt on lives and property of citizens.”
Also, reacting to the escalation of #EndSARProtest across the country, NUJ, in a statement by its National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman, said: “We agree that the proper measures in addressing the grievances of the protesters have not been taken and we suggest that the President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, should come out and address Nigerians with a clear strategy on how to tackle these grievances.
“Certainly, Mr. President has not lost his voice? Nigerians are waiting as the nation sits on a time bomb.”
Nigerians youth have been protesting against police brutality that had characterised the operations of the dreaded Special Anti-Rubbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force, which was recently disbanded.
Although IGP quickly disbanded SARS and substituted it with Special Weapons Attack Team (SWAT), the protesters were not impressed. To them, the haste with which SWAT was set up was a gimmick to thwart the agitation for the complete reform of the police.
NUJ equally called on Adamu to immediately end all acts of impunity against journalists.
“Specifically we call for the unconditional release of Tom Oga Uhia, Publisher of Power Steering Magazine. Tom Oga has been detained since last week on the orders of Minister of State for Power, Godwin Jeddy Agba, for allegedly defaming him. Since the police are unable to take him to court all this while, his continued further exposes the decay and impunity in the police,” the association said.
Meanwhile, Buhari Tuesday in Abuja applauded Nigerian Police Fund Pensions Limited for instituting a Retirees Resettlement Support Scheme, which would provide financial support for retired police officers, assuring that the Federal Government was fully committed to improving livelihood of serving officers.
The President, who virtually commissioned the new Head Office Building of Nigerian Police Fund Pensions Ltd, said the government was also focused on ensuring that police officers, who served the nation meritoriously, were resettled into retirement, with some financial support.
“To the Nigeria Police Fund Pensions Limited, I wish to applaud your company for instituting a Retirees Resettlement Support Scheme through which you provide some form of financial support to retired Police Officers to enable them to resettle fully in retirement after meritoriously serving the nation.
“Taking your services to the doorstep of Police Officers by maintaining an office in each Police Command and Formation is also very laudable. At this juncture, I urge you to continue your untiring efforts in collaborating with the Police authorities towards improving the welfare of both serving and retired personnel of the Nigeria Police Force,” Buhari said.
The President commended “the continuous efforts of the Nigeria Police Force, not only for fighting and addressing the emerging internal security challenges, but also in enhancing the welfare of their personnel through their Pension Fund Administration,’’ assuring of more government support.
He added: “This ceremony is a significant milestone for the nation’s pension industry as this New Head Office Building Complex is the first to be purpose-built by Pension Fund Administrator.
“It is noteworthy that for a company that is just six years old, to have achieved this magnificent, befitting edifice, utilizing only its internally-generated revenue, and using wholly indigenous contractors, shows that our efforts in driving fiscal discipline and encouraging patronage of local firms is yielding the desired results.
“To that effect, I praise the consultant who designed the project as well as the contractors that erected this beautiful complex, whom we learnt are both indigenous, as they work to promote and build our economy through the provision of jobs to our teeming youths. I am delighted to hear that during the construction of this project, over 2,000 man-labour were engaged.’’
Buhari congratulated the Board, Management and entire staff of NPF Pensions Limited for attaining the laudable feat of building a befitting Head Office for the company.
The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, urged National Pension Commission (PenCom), Police Authorities and Nigeria Police Force Pensions Limited to maintain their concerted efforts toward achieving improved welfare for police personnel.
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