President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that any act of hooliganism hiding behind lawful and peaceful protests would be dealt with decisively, to ensure peace and stability in the country.
The president gave the warning when he virtually declared open the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020 in Abuja on Monday.
Buhari commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for their efforts at swiftly restoring law and order in various states during the large-scale criminality that ensued in the wake of the #ENDSARS protests.
He reiterated federal government’s commitment to the rights of citizens to embark on peaceful protests responsibly and in accordance with the laws of the land.
The president recalled that the #ENDSARS protests were sadly hijacked by hooligans to cause wanton damage to lives and property in many cities across the country.
Buhari described 2020 as a very challenging year, citing the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on almost every aspect of national life.
”In spite of this, I am pleased to note that the Army remained resolute in the discharge of its Constitutional roles.
”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,” he said.
The president commended the Army for its unwavering commitment towards curtailing the activities of insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other violent criminals through ongoing exercises and operations in different parts of the country.
Notably, he said, was the Exercise SAHEL SANITY launched a few months ago in the North West states to rid the Katsina-Zamfara corridor of marauding bandits which had recorded commendable progress.
”I have also been briefed about the tremendous successes that have been achieved by troops during the ongoing Operation FIRE BALL in the North East.
Source: The Guardian