The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of legitimate force to protect the lives and property of citizens, including police officers.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr Frank Mba, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Adamu said that the protection must also cover the personnel of other law enforcement agencies, their families and prevent attacks on private or public assets from violent persons or groups operating under any guise.
He called on senior command officers, including Commissioners of Police (CPs) and Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), to resist all riotous elements.
The IGP urged the CPs and AIGs to checkmate any form of violent or riotous protests, in line with Section 33 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
According to him, the section of the constitution provides for the use of such force, as is reasonably necessary, for the defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property.
Adamu said that the section also allowed for the use of force in order to effect a lawful arrest or prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained and for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny.
The IGP stressed that the force would not tolerate a repeat of attacks and killings, arson and wanton destruction, and looting of public and private assets, as witnessed during the recent violent protests in some parts of the country.
He warned that the Force would deploy the full weight of the law and legitimate force, if necessary, in preventing a reoccurrence.
Adamu pledged the commitment of the Force to ensure the safety and security of law-abiding citizens across the country, ahead of the Yuletide.
He called for the collaboration and support of citizens in the ongoing reforms of the Force.
In the wake of the #EndSARS protests and the ensuing violence, more than 51 civilians died and 37 others were injured.
Report shows that that 22 policemen were killed and 26 others injured by the protesters, with 205 police stations, corporate facilities and private property attacked, burnt or vandalised.