Our Mandate Is To Protect Lives, Not Kill- Police IG

In an apparent response to the recent threat issued by controversial Assistant Inspector General of Police, Joseph Mbu, who promised to kill 20 civilians in retaliation for attacks on any policeman during the upcoming elections, Suleiman Abba, the Inspector-General of Police, has warned Policemen against the use of firearms during the elections “except in extreme circumstances.”

In a statement released on Saturday and signed by Emmanuel Ojukwu, Police spokesperson, the IG noted that the Nigeria Police has “a mandate to save and protect lives, and not to kill, contrary to recent statements in the media.”

While addressing Policemen in Ogun State, Mbu who was just redeployed as AIG Zone 2, covering Lagos and Ogun states said, “If one of my men is killed, I shall kill 20 of them but don’t shoot first.”

He added that, “If they shoot you, shoot back in self-defence. Anybody who fires you, fire him back in self- defence.”

Such unguarded statements coming from a senior police officer have however drawn the ire of the general public with the leading opposition, All Progressives Congress, APC, lambasting Mbu and describing him as “a barbaric and lawless officer who must be immediately cautioned.”

Apparently dissociating the police from such reckless statements, the Inspector General made it clear that in spite of provocation, the Police Regulations, requires a policeman to exercise “tact, patience and tolerance and control of temper in trying situations.’’

Abba also cautioned policemen against excesses and reminded them of the dire

consequences of abuse of human rights as contained in the recently released Human Rights Practice Manual of the Police.

Abba restated his avowed commitment to observance of the rule of law and the respect of the fundamental rights of citizens by all police officers.

“The rule of law is the underpinning tenet of democracy which will guide police officers in the discharge of their roles in the forthcoming national elections,’’ he said.

He restated the preparedness of the Force to provide the requisite security before, during and after the elections.

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