Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai says the Nigerian Army has been aware from the onset of the plan of sponsors of the #EndSARS protest to drag it into the crisis.
A statement by the army acting spokesman Sagir Musa said Buratai stated this on Monday in a meeting with his principal staff officers (PSOs), general officers commanding(GOCs) and field commanders at the Army Headquarters’ conference room.
According to the statement, Buratai said that “right from the onset of ENDSARS protest, the NA has been aware of the grand design by the sponsors of the protests to draw it into the crisis. The plan was to embark on massive propaganda to discredit the military and the government so as to set the people against the NA once it is called out to aid the civil authorities.
“The NA being aware of the devilish plan was careful not to be dragged in and issued the initial warning through a press release on 14 October 2020 of our resolve to secure and safeguard a United Nigeria. Now the detractors alongside their local and international collaborators have mischievously and deliberately misrepresented troops’ efforts to ensure compliance with the curfew imposed by legitimate civil authorities in Lagos and other states.
“These agitators are falsely accusing the NA of being responsible for the activities of the miscreants despite glaring evidence to the contrary. They have continually threatened to report the NA to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and also threatened various forms of sanctions against personnel and their families.
“Thankfully however, a large percentage of Nigerians and the international community have started seeing through the smokescreen of falsehood and deliberate misrepresentation of facts being orchestrated by enemies of Nigeria and have retracted their earlier false publications.”
Buratai urged them to “remain resolute in doing everything possible to ensure that subversive elements, detractors and other enemies of this great nation do not achieve their aims and objectives of destabilisation”.
He directed that any act of arson or attempt to kill or maim any military or security personnel and other law abiding civilians must be responded to quickly and decisively.
“In dealing with any security threat, they must fully cooperate with personnel of the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies and must ensure that everyone is in full compliance with imposed curfews and any other extant security instructions in force,” Buratai said.