- Nigeria's Army chief Tukur Buratai had a meeting with senior military officers on Monday, October 26
- Speaking about the #EndSARS protest, Buratai said the Nigerian Army will not allow those who hijacked the protest to destabilise Nigeria
- The Army chief added that some detractors are misrepresenting the role of the Nigerian Army in enforcing the curfew imposed in Lagos and other parts of the country
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has met with principal staff officers of the Nigerian Army, General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and field commanders.
A report filed by The Nation highlighted the details of the meeting which was held at the Army Headquarters on Monday, October 26.
According to the newspaper, Buratai told the senior military officers to ensure that "subversive elements" do not achieve their aim of destabilising Nigeria.
He said the Nigerian Army is determined to ensure democratic stability in Nigeria, adding that democracy remains the best system of governance.
"We will not allow any force, elements or destabilising agents in or outside our country to set our beloved country on fire”.
The Army chief told the senior military officers that there is no room for disloyalty in the Nigerian Army, adding that they should pass the message to their subordinates.
He said the security breakdown resulting from the #EndSARS protest has shown the determination of some unscrupulous individuals and groups to destabilise Nigeria by all means.
Admitting that the #EndSARS protest was peaceful, Buratai blamed the unnamed "unscrupulous individuals and groups" for the widespread violence witnessed across the country.
He said the Nigerian Army was aware of an alleged plot to drag it into the protest, adding that the plan was to embark on massive propaganda to discredit the military and the government.
“Now the detractors alongside their local and international collaborators have mischievously and deliberately misrepresented troops’ efforts to ensure compliance with the curfew imposed by legitimate civil authorities in Lagos and other states.
“These agitators are falsely accusing the NA of being responsible for the activities of the miscreants despite glaring evidence to the contrary. They have continually threatened to report the NA to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and also threatened various forms of sanctions against personnel and their families.
“Thankfully, however, a large percentage of Nigerians and the international community have started seeing through the smokescreen of falsehood and deliberate misrepresentation of facts being orchestrated by enemies of Nigeria and have retracted their earlier false publications”.
Buratai said the Nigerian Army, despite provocations, has continued to exercise restraint and applied all the Principles of Internal Security Operations.
He said the Army has also fully abided by the internationally recognised Rules of Engagement as contained in its published Standard Operating Procedures for Internal Security Operations which are derived from the International Human Rights Laws.
The Army chief charged the military officers not to be afraid of any threat or ICC for carrying out their legitimate duties as stated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Buratai also told them to cooperate with personnel of the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies while dealing with any security threat and enforcing compliance with imposed curfews in some states.
He equally alerted them of potential security threats resulting from the bugling of security armouries by the hoodlums across the nation.
According to Buratai, at least 10 AK-47 rifles have been lost to the hoodlums in the past two weeks across the country.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Defence Headquarters has spoken on the alleged shooting of some #EndSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate, Lagos, by soldiers.
The coordinator, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Maj. Gen. John Enenche, stated that the videos which surfaced online showing soldiers shooting at peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza was fake and was either photoshopped or cropped.
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