PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday vowed to “decisively” deal with hoodlums hiding behind peaceful protests to disrupt public peace.
The President, who recalled that the #ENDSARS protests in October were hijacked by hooligans, commended security operatives, especially the Army, for restoring law and order across the country.
Buhari spoke on Monday while virtually declaring open the Chief of Army Staff (CAOS) Annual Conference 2020, from the State House in Abuja. His address was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Organisers of the planned second wave of the protests in Lagos could not make good their vow to return to the streets yesterday following a warning by the state police command on Sunday.
But, in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, #EndSARS protesters resumed street agitation, calling on the Federal Government to unfreeze the accounts of #EndSARS promoters and the release of all persons arrested during and after the protests.
Also in Abuja, the FCT Police Command denied a viral video showing protesters on the streets.
Buhari told participants at the yearly conference that hoodlums hijacked the peaceful protests, killing, maiming and destroying public and private properties.
Lauding the Army for intervening in the “large-scale criminality that ensued in the wake of the #EndSARS protests,” he said: “I am pleased to note that the Army remained resolute in the discharge of its constitutional roles. “
The President, however, assured that his government was still committed to ensuring that the rights of Nigerians to peacefully protest were protected.
He added that such rights must not only be responsibly explored but must be in accordance with the laws of the land.