The Nigerian Army has said it remains “highly committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost”, issuing a stern warning to “subversive elements and trouble makers” to desist after a week of protests about police brutality.
The warning came amidst attacks by unidentified men with machetes on peaceful protesters in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Demonstrations against police violence, brutality and killings are ongoing in cities across Nigeria but despite authorities in the country disbanding the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the protesters are not backing down.
Army spokesman Col. Sagir Musa said: “The NA (Nigerian army) hereby warns all subversive elements and trouble makers to desist from such acts as it remains highly committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost.
“As a responsible and law-abiding organisation, the Nigerian Army reaffirms its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari and the Constitution of the Country.
“The NA is ready to fully support the civil authority in whatever capacity to maintain law and order and deal with any situation decisively.
“All officers and men are directed never to be distracted by anti-democratic forces and agents of disunity.”
Many Nigerians and protesters have however seen the warning as a veiled threat to their democratic right of peaceful protest saying the government will be making a grave mistake should it allow the army step in and may not have learnt from past mistakes.
By Abel Ejikeme