PSC warns police officers, gives immediate directives
For more than a week, many police operatives have refused to return to their duty posts following the recent killing of their colleagues by miscreants.
Following the killing of over 20 police officers during the violence that followed the #Endsars protests across the country, the Police Service Commission (PSC) has warned officers over their reluctance to return to their duty posts.
While advising police operatives in the country to put the death of their colleagues behind them, the commission said Public Service Rules, which also applies to members of the Nigeria Police Force, prescribes dismissal for anyone who deserts his job.
The PSC also noted that the recent attacks on police officers by hoodlums should not be an excuse for them to stay away from work.
Ikechukwu Ani, the commission’s spokesperson said the attacks on officers were not good for the country because it could lead to anarchy.
It would be recalled that on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, after some soldiers shot at peaceful protesters in Lekki, violence broke out across the country as hoodlums hijacked the #Endsars protests to loot, vandalise public and private properties and also kill police officers.
Hoodlums also reportedly burnt several police stations across the country during the crisis.
Following the incidents, police officers stayed away from black spots and their duty posts as many of them argued that their security was not guaranteed.
However, in an interview with ThePunch, the PSC spokesperson said the killing of officers was painful but should not be a reason for police operatives in the country to abandon their job of protecting the nation.
He said, “The Nigeria Police Force is part of the public service and the public service is guided by the Public Service Rules. If you don’t come to work without permission, the punishment is dismissal if it is proven.
“The police as public servants are guided by the rules; so, they cannot on their own say they won’t go to work. Although, the Police Service Commission is also working to make sure they are protected because they are human beings; their lives also matter.”
Ani also warned against further attacks on police officers saying it could lead to anarchy.
“It would be an ill-wind that blows nobody any good but it is not a reason for anybody to say he won’t go to work. If you don’t go to work, the Public Service Rules will take its course,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police has asked police officers to protect themselves against attacks, saying they have the right to defend themselves in case of physical danger.
The IGP said this on Friday, October 30, 2020, during an assessment tour of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, Abuja.
The police boss also encouraged police operatives to continue to perform their duties saying no amount of provocation or insult should make them shy away from their responsibilities.
He alleged that the Endsars protesters were out to demoralise the personnel.
He said, “The unity of this country lies in the support that is given to police officers because if you are demoralised, the tendency is for criminals to take over the public space and the country is relying on us to make sure that the public space is not taken over by the criminals. So no amount of provocation, no amount of insult would make us shy away from our responsibilities.
“Inasmuch as we are aware that the government is behind us; so, we would encourage you to keep performing your duties. We would encourage you to be professional, to be civic, but if anybody touches you, if anybody comes to assault you, you can also protect yourself.
“When we talk of human rights, the police are human; so, the rights of police officers would also be protected. So, we are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves.”
He, however, assured the families of slain officers that the government and the Nigeria Police Force would soon roll out packages for them.