Any act of hooliganism during peaceful protests will be dealt with decisively, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that Nigerians have the right to embark on protests but they must be peaceful and any act of hooliganism during peaceful protests will be dealt with decisively for the sake of peace and stability in the country.

He made the declaration on Monday at the presidential villa, Abuja while virtually declaring open the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020.

He said: “I want to reiterate our government commitment to the rights of citizens to embark on peaceful protests. However, this must be done responsibly in accordance with the laws of the land.

“I also want to state that any act of hooliganism hiding behind the peaceful protests, will be highly dealt with decisively to ensure the peace and stability of our nation.

“On this note, I commend the Nigeria Army for their efforts to swiftly restore law and order in many states during the last scale of criminality that ensued in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.”

The president 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.”

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He observed that the #EndSARS protests were 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.

The president further said: “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.”

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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