President Muhammadu Buhari has 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.
Virtually declaring open the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020 on Monday, President 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.
Reiterating 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 recounted that the #ENDSARS protests were sadly hijacked by hooligans to cause wanton damage to lives and property in many cities across the country.
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.
“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.
The President commended 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.
President Buhari also used the occasion to pay tribute to men and women in uniform who have paid the supreme sacrifice in the defence and security of the nation, commiserating with their families, comrades and friends.
He pledged that his administration will not relent in its efforts to take adequate care of families of fallen heroes who had paid the supreme sacrifice in the fight against insurgency and other forms of crimes across the country.