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Inspector General of Police regulates social media use for officers

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has restricted operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, on the usage of the social media with a ban on police personnel from using pictures of themselves while dressed in police uniforms on their Facebook, Twitter handles, WhatsApp or Instagram pages.

The Police chief also banned police personnel from making, sharing or commenting on any post that ridicules, maligns or disrespects any race, gender, ethnicity, tribe, religion or nationality as well as making controversial discussions bordering on politics and religion.

The IGP in a statement dated June 9th, 2020 warned that he is giving all police personnel in the country a grace of 30 days from June 10th for all operatives in the force to comply with the new Social Media Policy, SMP of the NPF by removing their pictures, videos in police uniforms, logos and insignias from their personal social media handles.

The statement which was personally signed by the IGP was also addressed to all Deputy Inspector General of Police, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Commissioners of Police and head of all respective police units in the country.

According to the statement, the policy is in appreciation of the need to safeguard the cooperate image of the force and uphold ethical standards to regulate the activities of all officers and men of the force in relation to the engagement of social media platforms.

Sections of the policy stated that all police personnel except the IGP, Zonal Command AIGs, State Command CPs, the force PPRO, Zonal and State Command PPROs, PPROs of police units and the officer in charge of the Complaint Response Unit, CRU, are prohibited from identifying themselves as police officers on their social media accounts.

The statement reads in part: “No police personnel shall use the social media or online platform to mobilize members of the force/police against the leadership, or policies of the force.

“Uploading of one’s official photographs on personal WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all other social media handles, as display pictures or status is prohibited.

“Usage of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, WhatsApp groups, etc. for professional and educational purposes is permitted to build necessary capacity and network for the force personnel.”

The statement further warned that any violation of the policy by any police personnel would attract appropriate disciplinary action.

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