The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba, has directed officers to halt the use of live ammunition during protests and riots in Nigeria.
The Police Boss on Wednesday assured that his office is doing its best to ensure Nigerian police practice a world standard style of policing that would ease strategy for officers in fighting crimes and protecting the lives of citizens and property across the nation.
Aside from the ban placed on the use of firearms, the police boss stated that the strongest weapon the law enforcement agents need in crime reduction and control during riots remains a chemical weapon, and Tear gas.
Addressing officers on the new method of policing in Lagos, the IGP Baba disclosed that officers would no longer be allowed to carry live ammunition during protests or riots and the decisions were reached in other to curb excessiveness and misuse of firearms and other weapons by men of the Nigerian Police.
He called on men of Nigerian Police to start embracing the world standard police approach in combating crime and that officers only need encouragement and continuous enlightenment on the need to stop using live ammunition during protests.
The Police Boss said, “We do not need firearms at all times. Our strongest aid in crime reduction and control especially crowd and riot still remains tear gas. But is now used for injuring one another and even killing because some people don’t know how to throw it or misuse it”.
He maintained that his administration has plans to introduce the use of chasers and runner guns as an alternative to the suspension of firearms usage during protests and riots in the country.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission to implement an increase in the salaries and wages of police officers in Nigeria.
Buhari stated this during his visit to Lagos State on Thursday for the handing over of security equipment by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the State Police Command.
Buhari said the ‘‘Federal Government takes very seriously our constitutional oath to secure the lives and properties of the Nigerian people,” adding that “his administration was conscious of the fact that lasting security is a necessary foundation for business, investment and true prosperity.”
President Buhari declared that “no Federal government since 1999 has been as committed as his administration in reforming and repositioning the Nigeria Police Force and national policing architecture.
‘‘In 2019, I signed into law the Act establishing the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, the first in the history of the Force, to provide guaranteed funding to support Police welfare, logistics, and equipment.
‘‘In September 2020, I assented to the Bill amending the Nigeria Police Act, which was originally enacted in 1943.
‘‘This new Act, a vast improvement over the old one, among other things spells out the modalities for the implementation of a National Community Policing Scheme in Nigeria.
‘‘This new scheme will build confidence within our local communities and make them active stakeholders in the safety and security of their environs.
‘‘We are currently recruiting 10,000 new Police officers to reinforce our personnel capacity across the country. In addition to this, I have directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to carry out an upward review of Police salaries and benefits,’’ he said.