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Groups fault Buratai’s comment on protests, demand sack of service chiefs

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United Movement for New Nigeria has faulted the claim by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, that the EndSARS protests were a ploy to discredit the President Muhammad Buhari-led government, incite the public against the army, and set the nation on fire.

Buratai had on Monday, through the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, stated: “Right from the onset of the ENDSARS protests, the army has been aware of the grand design by the sponsors of the protests to draw it into the crisis. The plan was to embark on massive propaganda to discredit the military and the government, so as to set the people against the army once it is called out to aid the civil authorities.”

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But speaking to The Guardian in Owerri yesterday, the national spokesperson of the group, MacDonald Enwere, described the statement as laughable, worrisome, and a diversionary gimmick.

It said: “We view such a statement by the Nigerian army as not only dishonest but a tragic embarrassment. It is indeed laughable and worrisome that after launching a crocodile war against the unarmed innocent Nigerian youths, the army turned back to label the peaceful protest a plot by subversive elements to destabilise the country.

“It remains an indisputable fact that the protest was a spontaneous ventilation of displeasure by the Nigerian youths against misgovernance and leadership summersault in the country.”

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ALSO, the New Nigeria Network (NNN) has demanded the immediate replacement of all service chiefs.

According to the group, there is no basis for the service chiefs to still remain in office after much military brutality on the citizens of the country.

This is coming after the October 20 shooting of unarmed protesters by suspected soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza, Lagos.

While addressing newsmen yesterday on why the struggle must continue, the group, led by Adesina Ogunlana, said the #EndSARS protests would not end “until it has fulfilled its mission.”

The protest, he added, is evolutionary and revolutionary at the same time.

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