The British High Commission (BHC) has expressed concern over the continued looting of private and public properties, including pockets of violence in some parts of the country.
In its statement of concern, which was posted on twitter, the BHC said: “We remain concerned by acts of looting and violence in Nigeria and urge security services use restraint as order is restored. Working with all stakeholders, judicial panel of inquiry must investigate all incidents, including #Lekki and ensure accountability for crimes. #EndPoliceBrutality”
Meanwhile, in an effort to bring back normalcy and stop continued looting in some part of the country, men of Nigerian army have deployed more soldiers on the streets.
The Army High Command decided on Monday stating that troops will prevent the continued looting of public and private properties by miscreants and criminals across the country, a situation that was a fallout of the #EndSARS protest hijacked by hoodlums.
The decision was taken during a meeting between the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and principal staff officers, General Officers Commanding and field Commanders at the Army headquarters on Monday.
In a chat with newsmen after the meeting, Acting Director of Army Public Relations Col. Sagir Musa, disclosed that Gen. Buratai recalled that “the events of the past few days in our dear nation have shown the determination of some unscrupulous individuals and groups to destabilise Nigeria by all means having hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protest marches resulting to widespread violence, acts of wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties in many parts of the country. These acts led to the imposition of curfew in many states”.
Musa stated further that Gen. Buratai directed its men and officers to respond “quickly and decisively” to any attempt by “elements or destabilising agents” to cause a breach of the law and order.
In a charge, the Army attempted to disabuse its personnel not to fear being reported to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as they are performing their constitutionally-assigned duty of defending the nation and its citizens.
For the avoidance of doubt, the army gave assurance that it remains committed to democratic governance “as the only panacea for development and progress.”
Gen. Buratai said the military had lost 10 AK-47 rifles and personnel to the violence, adding that the Army was aware of efforts to drag it into the protests with a view to “discredit” it and the government.
The Chief of Army staff was said to have also warned that troops on internal security or on guard duties outside the barracks to know that they must be at maximum alert at all times in order to be able to ”deal decisively with any attack on their duty locations.”
”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,”
He alerted them of potential security threats resulting from the burgling of security armouries by the hoodlums, adding that”the recent activities of the “unscrupulous elements have shown their desire to acquire arms and ammunition at all cost from security personnel.”
“No less than 10 AK-47 rifles have been lost to these miscreants in the past two weeks across the country with attendant loss of lives of personnel,” the COAS warned.
“Right from the onset of the #EndSARS protests, 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 October 14, 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.”
Buratai said: “despite all these, the NA has continued to exercise restraint by applying all the Principles of Internal Security Operations and fully abided by the internationally recognised rules of engagements….
“The Nigerian Army is determined to ensure democratic stability in Nigeria. The best system of governance is democracy and we must all ensure that Nigeria’s democracy remains stable and steady. We will not allow any force, elements or destabilising agents in or outside our country to set our beloved country on fire.
“We 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.”
“There is no choice between a democratically united, strong and prosperous Nigeria and a nation disunited in a state of anarchy and retrogression.”
“We must all strive for a united, strong, stable and progressive Nigeria,” he admonished.