The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has vowed that the force will not to allow the repeat of #ENDSARS protests in the country, stating that the police are ready to combat any group attempting to cause a breakdown of law and order.
Speaking during a meeting with command commissioners of police in Abuja on Friday, Adamu said the police officers protected demonstrators during the #EndSARS protest in October, but it later turned violent and led to loss of lives and properties.
“Remember, even our constitution does not accept violent protests, so, those people that are planning to come up with another protest, if they’ve planned it to be a violent one, they should re-think, otherwise, we have prepared to face them.
“We will never allow this type of #EndSARS protests again. It was violent. Peaceful protest is allowed in our constitutions. When this process started peacefully, we provided security for them. We were moving with them to make sure they were not molested by any group of people and it was going on well until it turned violent.
“When it turned violent, they then attacked the people that were even giving them protection. So, we shall never allow any violent protest in this country again. When you talk of peaceful protests, yes, it is allowed but violent protests, never!
“We’re to protect this country from hoodlums. We’re to protect this country from violence, and we want every Nigerian to work with us, to prevent what had happened as aftermath of the end of SARS in terms of destruction of public properties, loss of lives, businesses of individuals were crippled, corporate institutions were destroyed.
While reiterating that the constitution guaranteed peaceful protests, the IG said many of the masterminds of the violence that rocked the #EndSARS protests had been arrested including inmates who escaped from Edo custodial centre.
Adamu disclosed that many inmates had equally been arrested in Kano and Kaduna while perpetrating crimes.
He called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on groups said to be planning another round of protests to drop the idea.
The IG explained that his men were working hard to apprehend other inmates at large, including cultists terrorizing the neighbourhoods.
He noted, “We have made a lot of arrests of those people that escaped from prisons. Some were even arrested in Kano and Kaduna. When they escaped, some of them went back to their business of robbery.
“And the cultists, when they escaped, they went back to the business of cultism, especially in Edo. We’ve been able to arrest a significant number of them and we are still after those that are outside. We call on Nigerians, any information you have about an escapee from any of the correctional centres, please inform us or any other security agencies, so that we can get them back to prison.”