The INSPECTOR-GENERAL Mohammed Adamu yesterday placed Assistant Inspector General of Police and Commissioners of Police in the Federal Capital Terriotry (FCT) and neighbouring states on red alert.
IG Adamu said the action became imperative following the violent protest by Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzakky sympathisers at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The protest, which left nine police personnel injured, also led to the destruction of vehicles and other valuable items.
The IG directive was contained in a statement by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).
It reads: “The Commissioners of Police and their supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police in states contiguous to the FCT were also placed on the alert to ensure maximum security in their respective Areas of responsibility (AOR) to avert any possible breach of public safety and security.
“The IG also directed the AIG in charge of Police Medical Department to ensure that proper and prompt medical attention is given to the injured officers and wished the victims quick recovery.
“The police chief while noting that the Force is not against citizens expressing their grouse against the State, stressed that such ventilations must be done through legitimate and acceptable processes and not by taking the laws into their own hands.
“He warned citizens not to test the collective will of the People and the State by engaging in lawless acts likely to cause the breach of the peace.”
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The IG also ordered a speedy and diligent investigation into the incident as well as prompt prosecution of all the persons arrested and now in Police custody in connection with the incident.
Adamu reiterated his displeasure with the unwarranted and unjustifiable attack on, and injury to nine police officers by members of the protesters and commended the restraint, maturity and professionalism displayed by Police personnel in containing the protest.
The FCT Police Command confirmed that nine of its personnel were injured during the invasion of the National Assembly by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
Two of the policemen were shot. Seven others were injured. The police arrested 40 members of the group.
The FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, in a statement in Abuja, said the protesters started in a peaceful procession but later became violent and attempted to force their way into the National Assembly.
Ciroma said his men acted proactively and professionally by using minimum force to disperse the protesters.
On the casualty figure, Ciroma said: “Members of the sect during the violent protest shot two police personnel in the leg while clubs and stones were used to inflict injuries on seven other policemen.”
He added that the injured policemen had been taken to an undisclosed hospital.
Recognising the right of citizens to peaceful procession, the Command stated that it would not tolerate an attempt by any individual or group of persons to cause the breakdown of law and order.