The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai on Monday said that some “criminal elements” were threatening military officers with travel ban over the EndSARS protest.
Noting that the first time he travelled outside of the country he was already 50 years and a general in the army, Buratai said he would not mind “if I live the rest of my life here (in Nigeria)”.
Nigerian Army had remained in the eye of the storm after some soldiers on October 20, opened fire on peaceful and unarmed endSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos State.
The Lekki shooting saw Lagos and some other parts of the country erupt into violence that led to destruction of lives and properties.
Speaking on the incidence during a conference with army commanders in Abuja on Monday, Buratai frowned at Nigerians demanding that visa ban be placed against military officers and some international organisations threatening the same against them over alleged violations of human rights.
He said, “Criminal elements are threatening us with travel ban but we are not worried because we must remain in this country to make it better.
“The first time I travelled outside of this country, I was already 50 years and a General, so I don’t mind if I live the rest of my life here.”
Buratai vowed that the army was never going to allow any agent in or outside Nigeria set the country on fire, adding that the army remained resolute at ensuring that ”subversive elements, detractors and other enemies of Nigeria” did not destabilise the country.
“The events of the past few days in our dear nation have shown the determination of some unscrupulous individuals and groups to destabilise Nigeria by all means.
“These individuals, groups and other undesirable elements have hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protest marches resulting to widespread violence, acts of wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties in many parts of the country. These acts led to the imposition of curfew in several states of the federation.
“Despite all these, the army has continued to exercise restraint applied all the principles of internal security operations and fully abided by the internationally recognised rules of engagement as contained in our published standard operating procedures for internal security operations which are derived from the International human rights laws and are in accordance with the international principles guiding the use of force,” he said.