Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police (IGP), says many officers are good people, contrary to the perceived notions that led to widespread violence following the #EndSARS protests.
He stated this on Tuesday when he paid a visit to Lagos to assess the level of damage following the vandalisation of police stations across the state.
Adamu, who noted that 1,590 suspects have been arrested across the country in relation to violent attacks as a result of the #EndSARS crisis, commended the police officers for showing restraint in the face of provocation.
Speaking at the Lagos state command headquarters in Ikeja, he said despite the level of violence against security operatives, police officers restrained themselves from using maximum force.
“When they campaigned against SARS, they came up with five demands and after about four days’ protest, the authorities acceded to those demands because they were demands that could lead to reforming SARS,” he said.
“Our expectation was that after that, the protesters will all go back and leave the streets, but then they didn’t.
“Every security agent knows that when people come out to protest without observing the protocol, there is always a tendency for the protest to subsequently turn violent.
“The attack by hoodlums in this manner has the tendency to provoke the police and when we are provoked, we have the capacity and strength to repel these people.
“However, we have shown restraint by not using maximum force to repel the hoodlums and criminals that went about destroying properties and killing people.
“So, that resilience that you have in showing restraint has shown that no amount of provocation will lead you to give credence to what they have been preaching on police brutality.
“I am happy to note that not everybody in the country agreed with the violence; not everybody agrees that police are bad. Every organisation and institution in any country breeds a few bad eggs just like we have a few in the police that are bad. However, the majority of Nigerian police officers are good.”
According to NAN, the IGP maintained that despite the attacks, the force remains committed to its duty of protecting Nigerians.