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Again, Buhari directs security agents to shoot AK47-wielding criminals

…as Lagos hands over new equipment to police

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday reaffirmed his earlier directive to security agents to shoot any person (s) found illegally wielding AK-47s and other assault weapons, as his administration is committed to protecting lives and properties across the country.

Buhari spoke on Thursday at the handing over of security equipment donated by the Lagos State government to the Lagos Police Command, in Lagos. He had earlier flagged off commercial operations on Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge passenger, freight train services.

Equipment and gadgets handed over to the police by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu include 150 double cabin vehicles, 30 saloon patrol vehicles, 1000 ballistic vests, 1000 ballistic helmets, 1000 handheld police radios/walkie talkies, 100 security patrol bikes; two armoured personnel carriers, two anti-riot water cannon vehicles, among others.

President Buhari reiterated that his administration would act firmly and decisively ‘‘against anyone and all persons fomenting or carrying out attacks on our Police Force and other security personnel.’’ He warned that ‘‘a nation that turns its police personnel and infrastructure into targets of violence and destruction is a nation on the path of self-destruction.’’

‘‘As commander-in-chief, my primary responsibility remains the security of the country and the safety of all citizens. Despite the many challenges we are facing, I want Nigerians to be rest assured that we will secure this country.

‘‘We will secure our infrastructure, our highways, our communities, and our forests, and we will secure the lives of our people,’’ he said.

He assured the police that the government would strive to improve their welfare and capacity, reminding them, however, of their responsibility to the citizens.

‘‘First, let me commend the Inspector-General of Police and the entire force for the recent efforts to restore peace to troubled parts of the country.

‘‘I have charged the Inspector-General to leave no stone unturned in rebuilding the morale of his officers and men, especially in the aftermath of the mindless violence associated with the EndSARS protests, as well as the recent spate of attacks on police stations in some parts of the country.”

He praised Lagos government for the security equipment, saying it would go a long way in boosting the morale of the police and enhance their capacity to fight crime and combat criminality.

‘‘This is even more touching in the light of the unwarranted violence that ensued in the wake of the #ENDSARS protests last October, which saw the security architecture in Lagos State severely damaged,’’ he said.

Earlier, Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration would not leave any stone unturned in flushing out criminals in the state. Sanwo-Olu urged Buhari to charge security personnel to handle the equipment with care and take ownership to be able to tackle security challenges facing the state.

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