The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of legitimate force to protect lives and property of citizens, including police officers.
The Police Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Mr Adamu said the protection must also cover personnel of other law enforcement agencies, their families and prevent attacks on private/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 forthwith.
The IGP urged the CPs and AIGs to checkmate any form of violent/riotous protests in line with Section 33 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
He said the section of the constitution provides for the use of such force by the police as is reasonably necessary for the defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property.
The police chief said the section also allows for force in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained for the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny.
The IGP said the force will not tolerate a repeat of attacks and killings, arson and wanton destruction, and looting of public and private assets witnessed during the recent violent protests in some parts of the country.
He warned that the Force will deploy the full weight of the law and legitimate force, if necessary in preventing a reoccurrence.
Mr Adamu pledged the commitment of the police 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 violence that followed, a total of 51 civilian fatalities and 37 injured persons were recorded.
Report shows that that 22 policemen were murdered and 26 others injured by the protesters with 205 police stations, corporate facilities and private property attacked, burnt or vandalized.