EndSARS Saga: Some Unscrupulous Nigerians, Foreigners Are Out To Destabilise Nigeria, Buratai Says

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Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. General Tukur Buratai, on Monday claimed that some unscrupulous Nigerians and their foreign collaborators are still bent on destabilising Africa’s most populous country.

According to him, “the events of the past few days in our dear nation have shown the determination of some unscrupulous individuals and groups to destabilise Nigeria by all means.

“These individuals, groups and other undesirable elements hijacked the peaceful EndSARS protest marches resulting to widespread violence, acts of wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties in many parts of the country. These acts led to the imposition of curfew in several states of the federation.”

Consequently, he has directed Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), General Officers Commanding (GOCs) and Field Commanders to intensify joint training with the Nigeria Police and other sister security agencies to enhance interagency collaboration and cooperation.

Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement says COAS gave the directive on Monday at the Army Headquarters Conference Room in Abuja.

Buratai, according to the army spokeman, made it clear to them that there will be no room for disloyalty amongst all officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

He also directed that they must reiterate to all their subordinates that the army is determined to ensure democratic stability in Nigeria as the only panacea for development and progress.

“The best system of governance is democracy and we must all ensure that Nigeria’s democracy remains stable and steady. We will not allow any force, elements or destabilising agents in or outside our country to set our beloved country on fire.

“We remain resolute in doing everything possible to ensure that subversive elements, detractors and other enemies of this great nation do not achieve their aims and objectives of destabilisation”, the army chief said.

The rest of the statement goes thus: “Right from the onset of EndSARS protest, the army has been aware of the grand design by the sponsors of the protests to draw it into the crisis.

“The plan was to embark on massive propaganda to discredit the military and the government so as to set the people against the army once it is called out to aid the civil authorities.

“The Nigerian Army being aware of the devilish plan was careful not to be dragged in and issued the initial warning through a press release on October 14, 2020, of our resolve to secure and safeguard a United Nigeria.

“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.

“COAS further said, despite all these, the NA has continued to exercise restraint applied all the Principles of Internal Security Operations and fully abided by the internationally recognized Rules of Engagement as contained in our published Standard Operating Procedures for Internal Security Operations which are derived from the International Human Rights Laws and are in accordance with the international principles guiding the use of force.

“In dealing with any security threat, they must fully cooperate with personnel of the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies and must ensure that everyone is in full compliance with imposed curfews and any other extant security instructions in force.

“Buratai also alerted the PSOs, GOCs and Field Commanders that -“The recent activities by unscrupulous elements have shown their desire to acquire arms and ammunition at all cost from security personnel. No less than 10 AK-47 rifles have been lost to these miscreants in the past two weeks across the country with attendant lost of lives of personnel.

“He charged Commanders to nip in the bud this emerging trend at all cost, and directed them to warn their troops on internal security or on guard duties outside the barracks to be at maximum alert at all times and to also deal decisively with any attack on their duty locations.

“Buratai concluded that there is no choice between a democratically united, strong and prosperous Nigeria and a nation disunited in a state of anarchy and retrogression. We must all strive for a united, strong, stable and progressive Nigeria”.

At the end of the meeting, the PSOs, GOCs and Field Commanders resolved to remain Loyal to the government under President Muhammadu Buhari, and ensure the unity and indivisibility of our country.

They also pledged to assist the government to bring an end to insecurity across the country and to prevent miscreants and criminals from hijacking the  EndSARS protest nationwide as well as remain focus and not to be deterred by any local or international threats.

 

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