The Nigerian Army says there is no truth behind reports that Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai approached President Muhammadu Buhari with an offer to order troops to suppress ongoing anti-police brutality protests across the nation.
An online newspaper reported on Wednesday that the President rejected Buratai’s request on account that the move could backfire.
“Mr. Buhari said heavily armed soldiers with directive to open fire should be the last resort — if at all they’ll be considered — because of the spontaneous and elaborate nature of the ongoing pushback against decades police brutality,” Peoples Gazette reported, quoting unnamed presidency and military sources briefed on the matter Wednesday night.
Posting a screenshot of the report, the Army took to its verified Twitter and Facebook pages to describe it as “fake news”.
In a follow-up statement, the army restated its loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The Thursday statement titled ” Nigerian Army Remains Resolute To The Peace And Stability Of The Nation” was signed by Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, read,
It read, “The Nigerian Army (NA) wishes to reassure law abiding citizens that it is highly committed to the sustenance of peace, security and defence of democracy in Nigeria. As a responsible and law abiding organisation, the NA 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 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. 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.”