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Adelani Adepegba, Ade Adesomoju and Oladimeji Ramon
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, on Monday dared human rights activists, who had threatened to drag him and other officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to the International Criminal Court.
Buratai, who stated this while addressing principal staff officers, general officers commanding and field commanders at a meeting in the NA headquarters, Abuja, said the commanders should not be afraid of the ICC while performing their duties.
He also ordered military commanders and troops to go after looters and hoodlums raiding warehouses and vandalising property across the country, adding that sponsors of #EndSARS protests were out to discredit the Army
There has been outrage over soldiers’ shooting of peaceful protesters on Tuesday last week in Lekki, Lagos, with some of those who condemned the incident threatening to take Buratai to the ICC.
Protests by youths calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery of the Nigeria Police turned violent following the shooting in Lekki.
Also, mobs have been looting public and private property besides the burning of police stations and other government buildings.
But on Monday, Buratai did not comment on the allegation that soldiers shot protesters.
He, however, denied that the army masterminded the miscreants involved in the arson, vandalism and looting of public and private property in many cities.
The chief of army staff made it clear to his men that there must be no room for disloyalty amongst all officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.
He said the PSOs, GOCs and field commanders must reiterate to all their subordinates that the army was determined to ensure democratic stability in the country as the only panacea for development and progress.
Buratai said, “The recent activities by unscrupulous elements have shown their desire to acquire arms and ammunition at all costs 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.”
According to a statement read by the Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, on behalf of the COAS, Buratai charged the commanders to nip in the bud the trend at all costs.