By Chinenye Festus:-
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday while declaring open the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020 in Abuja stated that any protest geared towards disrupting the peace and stability of the nation will no longer be tolerated.
He warned that any act of hooliganism hiding behind lawful and peaceful protests will be dealt with decisively as the country is yet to snap out of the bad effect of EndSars protest held nationwide.
The President’s speech comes after it was gathered that some people want to take to the street again in continuation of the EndSars protest.
The statement reads in part :
“I want to reiterate our government’s commitment to the rights of citizens to embark on peaceful protests,”
” However, this must be done responsibly and in accordance with the laws of the land.
“I also wish to state that any act of hooliganism hiding behind lawful and peaceful protests will be dealt with decisively to ensure the peace and stability of our nation.”
President Buhari in his speech described the year 2020 as a very challenging one as not just Nigeria but most countries in the world witnessed a melt down of the economy due the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Muhammadu Buhari therefore commended the Armed forces for their resilience and their contributions in restoring peace and quelling the violence associated with the EndSars protests.
“I commend the Armed Force for their efforts which helped restore law and order in many states during the large-scale criminality that ensued in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.”
”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.”
”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.
The President also used the occasion to pay tribute to our fallen heroes, men, and woman who have made a sacrifice which sometimes cost them their lives in the service of this nation. 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.
“As we pray for the repose of their souls, we must strengthen our collective resolve to address those issues that will make every part of our country a safe and secure place to live and carry out our normal business,” he said.
”It is in line with this that the Army as part of its welfare initiative and in line with the Federal Government’s housing programme is undertaking the Housing Scheme for families and next of kin of troops that were killed in action in the fight against insurgency and other criminalities in the country.
”I believe this initiative will act as a huge morale booster to the troops on the frontlines as well as project the Army in a good light.
”On our part, I assure you that this administration will continue to do all within available resources to provide for your operational and welfare needs,” he said.
President Buhari said he had been briefed that some of the major capabilities procured for the Army will soon be inducted into the various theatres of operations, urging personnel ‘‘to make judicious use of these capabilities, even as we await the arrival of others currently pending shipment to the country.’’
On the choice of the theme of the annual conference, President Buhari noted that it is only through human capacity development that any institution can attain the level of professionalism needed to effectively and efficiently carry out its Constitutional roles.
At the conference, the President launched the Housing scheme for Next of Kin of personnel of the Nigerian Army killed in action.
The minister Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi showered praise to the President for always approving funds for operations of the military in the country, assuring that all resources will be used judiciously.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on his part noted that the Nigeria Army will continue to do their part in fighting insurgency and combating crimes.
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