NIGERIA – A police officer (name withheld) has informed Nigerians that it would be difficult for Force personnel to provide adequate security for now.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), in a chat with PRNigeria, advised citizens to protect themselves from hoodlums ahead of yuletide.
He spoke at the weekend after a joint meeting of law enforcement agencies in Southern States worst hit by the violence that followed the End SARS protests.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Nigerian military, security, intelligence and response agencies.
It analysed how the assaults on security manpower dampened the morale of many of servicemen and women.
The DPO said: “In these ember months, up to Christmas and New Year, I doubt if any of the services can guarantee maximum security. There is no way we can discharge our statutory responsibilities when we have become soft targets.”
The DPO declared that it would be over his dead body to allow any of his subordinates to be drafted to risky situations anytime soon.
“Our destroyed facilities are yet to be reconstructed; looted armouries are yet to be restocked. Our men and women are yet to get over the atrocities committed by the same people we are charged to protect. How can we return to duty posts?”
On Friday, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, regretted that 22 policemen were killed and 205 stations and formations destroyed during the nationwide violence.
Adamu, however, directed police personnel to protect themselves against onslaught.
“If anybody touches or assault you, you can also protect yourself, he said while assessing state of security in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
But policemen are still off the roads. Those who move about do so in plain clothes. Operatives are sceptical on return to places of assignment, especially volatile areas.
Nigerians have been lamenting their fate as several locations are unprotected and exposed to attacks.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) said it would not force personnel to return to work due to the recent unrest.
The spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, in a statement, denied that PSC threatened to dismiss officers who fail to resume.
“The commission is pained that policemen were killed and stations set ablaze throughout the country. It will be very insensitive at this point for anyone to say that the commission will dismiss any policeman who didn’t return to work”, he noted.
Ani said the PSC can only plead with the officers to, in the spirit of nationalism, go back to work while government finalizes plans for their protection and welfare.