The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, has cautioned personnel of the force against the use of firearms during the forthcoming general elections “except in extreme circumstances”.
A statement issued by Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, the Force Public Relations Officer, on Saturday, said Abba gave the warning when he addressed senior officers and stakeholders in his office.
Abba said that the Nigeria Police had “a mandate to save and protect lives, and not to kill, contrary to recent statements in the media’’.
The I-G said in spite of provocation, attributes of a policeman as contained in the Police Regulations, required him to exercise “tact, patience and tolerance and control of temper in trying situations’’.
He also cautioned the personnel against excesses and reminded them of the dire consequences of abuse of human rights as contained in the recently released Human Rights Practice Manual of the force.
Abba restated his avowed commitment to observance of the rule of law and the respect of the fundamental rights of citizens by all police officers.
“The rule of law is the underpinning tenet of democracy which will guide police officers in the discharge of their roles in the forthcoming national elections,’’ he said.
He restated the preparedness of the force to provide the requisite security before, during and after the elections.

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