Buhari Encourages Peaceful Protests Amid Claims Of Second Wave Of #EndSARS Demonstrations

President Muhammadu Buhari OnoBello

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that those willing to protest are at democratic liberty of doing so but his administration will not tolerate any acts of hooliganism.

The president who spoke in a virtual arrangement at the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020 on Monday said hooligans hiding behind lawful and peaceful protests will be dealt with decisively to ensure peace and stability in the country.

The warning came amidst claims of a second wave of the #EndSARS protest being allegedly planned by youths in the country.

In October, the protest against police brutality and the excesses of the now-defunct police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), were staged nationwide, a development which resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of properties by hoodlums who hijacked the protest.

Buhari, who declared open the annual Conference in Abuja, commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for their efforts at swiftly restoring law and order in various states during what he described as “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 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.

He once again commended the Nigerian 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.

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.

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