Police officers must ensure individuals, groups and businesses within the country follow COVID-19 guidelines, inspector-general Mohammed Adamu has ordered.
The guidelines include public mask wearing, restriction on social gathering, and other rules.
Adamu’s directive to the police followed an executive order President Muhammadu Buhari signed on the matter, on January 26.
The police officers, Adamu said, must “ensure full enforcement of the regulations in public places — places of worship, workplace and schools, banks, public transport vehicles, hostels, boarding houses, detention centres, etc — and general restrictions on gatherings as well as the use of face mask”.
This is according to a statement police spokesperson Frank Mba issued on Monday.
But since Buhari signed his executive order on the matter, there were fears the police could become overzealous and highhanded in enforcing the president’s wishes.
Adamu, therefore, urged the police to be wise and not get carried away into actions that could trigger protests.
“The IGP further cautions officers enforcing the regulations to show tact, compassion and empathy with the citizens,” the statement read.
“He reiterates that the officers must be firm and professional and at the same time remain polite, civil and respect the fundamental rights of the citizens.”