The Inspector General of Police, IGP Muhammad Adamu has reiterated that police personnel are constitutionally empowered to use their firearms to protect lives and property.
The police chief said this while charging his men not to be discouraged by the protests staged by the youths calling for end of Special Anti-Robbery Squad at the headquarters of Ogun State Police Command, Eleweran, Abeokuta on Thursday.
He also told his officers not to hesitate to use their firearms to protect themselves when they are in danger.
“Your arms are supposed to be used to protect lives and property. Constitutionally when there is violence protest, the constitution allows you to use your firearm, when individuals or group of people are unlawful; you are allowed to use your firearm.
“Don’t be discouraged, come out in full and perform your duties, nobody can do it, it is your constitutional responsibility and you must do it. No amount of intimidation can prevent us from doing our job.
“Nobody can demoralise us, nobody can prevent or make us shy away from performing our duties. The responsibility of protecting lives and property is given to the police and you are licensed to carry arms.
“We are encouraging you to go out there and perform your duties without fear or favour and without being afraid of any victimisation. Be courageous, be civil and be calm and follow the procedures in performing your duties.
“In defence of yourself and you have no other means to escape from any attack, you are allowed to use your firearm, but you are not allowed to kill. As police officers you are not allowed to kill, when you use your firearm you are supposed to maim.
“You should not shy away from using your firearms for these purposes but don’t kill.
“If in the process of performing your duties, a mistake come up, and we know that you followed all the necessary procedures, we shall be behind you, we shall support and make sure that you are not molested,” Adamu said.
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Awolowo Ajogun had earlier in his welcome speech said the IGP’s visit would reawaken the dampened morale of the police officers in the state.
Ajogun explained that, about seven divisional headquarters were vandalized in the state with the DCO of Atan -Ota division, DSP Ogbeche losing his life during the EndSARS protest.
He, however, said the police in the state have returned to their respective duty posts since it is their duty to protect lives and property.
He promised that the command would remain loyal and more professional in its desire to serve the people of the state, thanking the IGP for elevating the junior ranks to their next levels