President Muhammadu Buhari has warned Nigerians not to hide under the umbrella of protests to disrupt the peace in the country.
The warning comes as anti-police-brutality protests resumed in Osun on Monday. In Lagos, armed soldiers and police were deployed to Lekki Toll Plaza to stop protesters from gathering there. The same is true for state capital Alausa.
The tollgate became a protest landmark after soldiers allegedly opened fire on peaceful demonstrators who had gathered there on October 20.
Buhari, who has no constitutional power to stop Nigerians from embarking on peaceful demonstrations, issued his warning in Abuja today.
The president, according to a statement issued by his media aide Femi Adesina, “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, 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.”