The Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, has advanced reasons why the police felled members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria with bullets in Kano on Monday.
Ibrahim, who justified the killings in Abuja, Tuesday, said the Shia members were armed with dangerous weapons.
Ibrahim spoke with State House correspondents shortly after attending the launch of the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem and Appeal Fund at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
No fewer than 15 Shiite members and one policeman were said to have lost their lives during the clash .
Scores of policemen and Shi’ite members were said to have been injured during the clash.
“I agree with what you said that Nigerians should not be killed while quelling riot but when you have Nigerians armed to the teeth, killing police officers, I don’t think it happens anywhere.
“I think as Nigerians, we have to appreciate a dangerous situation, and be sympathetic with the police that are being killed by some of these miscreants,” Ibrahim said.
He said it was unlawful for the sect members to block a major road.
The police boss said, “Obviously from time to time, we have been experiencing upheavals from this set of people.
“As police officers, we have responsibility to ensure there is law and order and when you have people taking over the whole country, dominating streets and buildings, we have to come in to maintain sanity in those areas.
“As of early yesterday, we got information that they were trying to block Kano to Zaria road. They later assembled in large number and our officers were deployed in the place to ensure freedom of movement of ordinary Nigerians.
“They attacked our officers, killed one of our officers. One has sustained an arrow wound on his head and obviously in such a situation, police have the responsibility to ensure free movement of people on the road. And that was what our officers did.”