Aggrieved Nigerians have taken to social media to lambast the Nigerian Army after it released a statement warning protesters in the country.
Most commenters wondered why the army should read the riot act to peaceful protesters when it has failed to defeat the menace of Boko Haram in the North East.
The army early on Thursday warned those it called 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.
Colonel Sagir Musa, the spokesman said the army is committed to the sustenance of peace, security and defence of democracy.
Musa’s contentious statement 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”.
However, the statement incensed pro #EndSARS protesters, with the army derided for its inadequacies in containing the real security breaches in the country.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai was trending on Nigerian Twitter on Thursday as the attacks mounted in the social media.
The Malian Army protected the citizens.— Mandroid (@Bigbounce01) October 15, 2020
The Nigerian army is threatening the citizens. Shame.
If you @HQNigerianArmy take the side of the government, you would share their fate.
God is involved in this matter. https://t.co/I6DNo6DLWU
Reading through this press release by Nigerian Army. One tends to ask again, is Buhari the COMMANDER IN CHIEF of Military armed forces or.......??— Aisha Yesufu (@Aisha_yesuf) October 15, 2020
This is hilarious and unlawful. #EndSWAT #EndSARS #EndBadGovernanceinNIGERIA pic.twitter.com/AOjqv4XAPH
#ENDSWAT Nigerian Army has no business supporting despots, this statement is highly irresponsible, inappropriate and provocative. The Army should be loyal to its employer-the Nigerian people! Stop using the @HQNigerianArmy to intimidate Nigerians, it won’t work! #RevolutionNow pic.twitter.com/w01WAuLmiH— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) October 15, 2020
After soldiers seized @ARISEtv cameras on Tuesday & threatened to shoot a journalist with @thecableng on Wednesday, that press statement by the Nigerian Army is every bit distasteful.— 'Fisayo Soyombo (@fisayosoyombo) October 15, 2020
Branding #EndSARS #EndSWAT protesters "subversive elements" is such an irritable joke. Pls stop
Dear @HQNigerianArmy,— #SarsMustEnd #EndSWAT Tosin Olugbenga (@TosinOlugbenga) October 15, 2020
The Police CANNOT stop us.
You also CANNOT stop us.
You are called Nigerian Army for a purpose and not Buhari's Army.
WE own YOU.
You have no constitutional right to disrupt peaceful protesters agitating for a better Nigeria.