President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, in Abuja, warned that “any act of hooliganism hiding behind lawful and peaceful protests will be dealt with decisively to ensure peace and stability in the country.”
Buhari, while virtually declaring open the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020, commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for their efforts at restoring law and order in various states during the unrest that ensued in the wake of the #ENDSARS protests.
The President assured that his government was committed to the rights of citizens to embark on peaceful protests responsibly and in accordance with the laws of the land.
Buhari, however, said the #ENDSARS protests were “sadly hijacked by hooligans to cause wanton damage to lives and property in many cities across the country.”
He said this as protests resurfaced in Oshogbo, Osun State Monday.
The president described the Year 2020 as a very challenging one, citing the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on almost every aspect of national life.
He said at the conference themed Human Capacity Development in Sustaining Professionalism and Responsiveness of the Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles:
Despite this, I am pleased to note that the Army remained resolute in the discharge of its Constitutional roles and in keeping the wealth and welfare of our soldiers a priority.
The Army’s support of Civil Authorities in the management of the COVID-19 Pandemic is a case in point.
Also, the peaceful elections conducted in Edo and Ondo States would not have been achieved without the high level of professionalism displayed by all security agencies, including the Army.