President Muhammadu Buhari has again cautioned against a repeat of violent protests across the country.
President Buhari made this known on Monday while virtually declaring open the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020.
He 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, who restated government’s commitment to the rights of citizens to embark on peaceful protests responsibly and in accordance with the laws of the land, also recalled that the #ENDSARS protests were hijacked by hooligans to cause wanton damage to lives and property in many cities across the country.
He however hailed the Nigerian Armed Forces for their efforts at restoring law and order in various states during the large-scale criminality that ensued in the wake of the #ENDSARS protests.
The President, who described the Year 2020 as a very challenging one, cited the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on almost every aspect of national life.
‘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,” 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.”
The President lauded the Army for its unwavering commitment towards curtailing the activities of insurgents, armed bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other violent criminals through ongoing exercises and operations in different parts of the country.
He said the “Exercise Sahel Sanity” launched a few months ago in the North West states to rid the Katsina-Zamfara corridor of marauding bandits 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.
”I charge you all to sustain these efforts until the full restoration of peace and security in the nation is achieved,” the President told members of the armed forces at the conference which provides an avenue for the leadership of the Army to re-assess its preparedness and operational readiness in carrying out its Constitutional roles.
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