The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has asked the personnel of the force to protect themselves against assaults.
He said the men and officers have the right to defend themselves in case of physical danger.
The IGP spoke on Friday during an assessment tour of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, Abuja, where he also encouraged the operatives who had abandoned the streets for the past five days following the killing of over 20 policemen in the violence that rocked the country.
Adamu alleged that the #EndSARS protesters were out to demoralise the personnel, adding that the government and the Nigeria Police Force would soon roll out packages for the families of the deceased officers.
He said: “The unity of this country lies in the support that is given to police officers because if you are demoralised, the tendency is for criminals to take over the public space and the country is relying on us to make sure that the public space is not taken over by the criminals. So no amount of provocation, no amount of insult would make us shy away from our responsibilities.
“Inasmuch as we are aware that the government is behind us; so, we would encourage you to keep performing your duties. We would encourage you to be professional, to be civic, but if anybody touches you, if anybody comes to assault you, you can also protect yourself.
“When we talk of human rights, the police are human; so, the rights of police officers would also be protected. So, we are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves.”