Despite palpable fear among the rank and file officers of the Nigerian police over hoodlums pursuing them to their private homes, the Police Service Commission (PSC) has faulted the refusal of some policemen to return to work following the killing of about 22 of its men during the violence that erupted following #EndSARS protest.
Policemen had had complainted they had become endangered species and stayed away from hotspots and their duty posts in different states following the killing of their colleagues by suspected hoodlums.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to reclaim the public space from hoodlums had ordered the deployment of Riot policemen but they also failed to respond to incidents of looting and vandalism of public and private property by miscreants – defiance of a directive by the police chief.
The IG told the ploice men recently to defend themselves if attacked.
Senior police officers had expressed fear for their lives, saying their security was not guaranteed hence their decision to stay away from work.
In its reaction, PSC encouraged policemen with low morale to put the killing of their colleagues behind them, while stating that the Public Service Rules which also applies to members of the Nigeria Police Force prescribes dismissal for any officer that deserts his job.
The Commission stressed that policemen did not deserve to be killed and should in fact be protected as fellow human beings while stating that the attack on officers by hoodlums should not be an excuse for them to stay away from work.
Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, PSC spokesperson, explained why the attack on policemen is not beneficial for the country.
According to him, “this is because when you make Nigeria lawless and ungovernable, there would be a situation nobody would be able to control. When you make Nigeria lawless and ungovernable, there would be a situation nobody would be able to control.
“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.”
He stressed that “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 cautioned against further attacks on law enforcement agents, describing such incidents as an ill-wind that 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.