The Military has condemned the reported attacks on protesters demanding abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and sweeping reforms in the Nigerian Police Force by “thugs and miscreants”.
It warned further attacks against “peace loving Nigerians” will not be condoned.
It threatened: “Thugs and miscreants are hereby warned to desist from engaging in violent activities against peaceful Nigerians henceforth, or face appropriate measures”.
According to the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche: “The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have observed with dismay some violence-related protests across the country; particularly the increasing number of attacks on peaceful protesters by thugs and miscreants”.
He added: “This unfolding event against peace loving Nigerians will not be condoned. Hence, thugs and miscreants are hereby warned to desist from engaging in violent activities against peaceful Nigerians henceforth, or face appropriate measures.
“Thus, the Military High Command duly encourages peaceful citizens to go about their normal activities without fear of intimidation or harassment as the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies are on ground for their safety.
“In clear terms, any attempt to undermine the democracy of our beloved nation under any cover will not be allowed. For emphasis, the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains subordinated to the civil authorities of the country with unflinching loyalty to the President Commander in Chief.
“Additionally, the Military High Command wishes to reassure law abiding citizens that it is highly committed to the sustenance of peace, security, and the defence of democracy in Nigeria.The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies hereby commends all citizens particularly those who genuinely express their concerns in an organized, patriotic and civil manner”.
The High Command of the Armed Forces had denied referring to #EndSARS protesters as subversive elements.
It explained that rather the subversive elements referred to in a statement issued by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, were people who will want to derail the cause of the protest.
Enenche, who made the denial while fielding questions from Defence Correspondents at the weekly update on military operations across the Federation, explained: “I will say that the subversive elements are people who will want to derail the cause of the protest. And who are those people?
“You will agree with me that they are those who are out for destruction. Some people are even hauling stones even at the protesters, these are subversive elements.
“People are protesting peacefully, they are carrying placards and they are being answered and you are hauling stones at them. So i will want to state that these are the subversive elements that the army is referring to not the protesters”.