Okwe Obi, Abuja
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has disclosed that over 10 AK-47 rifles are missing as a result of #EndSARS protests across the country, an act he described as unacceptable.
Buratai, who stated this during a meeting with Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), General Officers Command in (GOSs), and Field Commanders, charged them to clamp down hard on hoodlums and thugs who hijacked the protests to unleash mayhem on soldiers and innocent civilians.
He urged the officers not to be deterred by threats by some Nigerians and enemies of the country to report the Force to the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying that the territorial integrity of the country would be guarded against external forces.
Addressing reporters after the meeting Monday in Abuja, the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, speaking for the COAS, maintained that the army would join forces with the police to restore peace and order.
‘The recent activities by unscrupulous elements have shown their desire to acquire arms and ammunition at all cost from security personnel.
‘No less than 10 AK-47 rifles have been lost to these miscreants in the past 2 weeks across the country with attendant lost of lives of personnel.
‘He charged Commanders to nip in the bud this emerging trend at all cost and directed them to warn their troops on internal security or on guard duties outside the barracks to be at maximum alert at all times and to also deal decisively with any attack on their duty locations.
‘There is no choice between a democratically united, strong and prosperous Nigeria and a nation disunited in a state of anarchy and retrogression. We must all strive for a united, strong, stable and progressive Nigeria.’
He emphasised that none of the ‘P803, GOCs, Field Commanders and other officers and soldiers of the NA should be afraid of the ICC for carrying out their legitimate duties as stated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and other extant laws, rules and regulations of Nigeria.
‘Anyone who doubts their commitment to their constitutional responsibilities must be made to know that they remain committed, loyal and unwavering in ensuring the unity, stability and security of our dear country Nigeria.
‘He charged them to show the detractors and other elements of destabilization that they are neither part of them nor in any way supportive of their activities at all times. Any act of arson or attempt to kill or maim any military or security personnel and other law-abiding civilians must be responded to quickly and decisively.’