Soldiers that were deployed by President Goodluck Jonathan to quell the pro-fuel subsidy riots in Lagos are still roaming the streets despite pleas by eminent Nigerians asking the President to rescind the deployment.
On Monday, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola (SAN); and some other eminent Nigerians had criticised the deployment and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the soldiers from the streets of Lagos.
However, Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed has said that soldiers will remain on the streets of Lagos until the Federal Government is satisfied that normalcy has returned. He said the deployment of the soldiers was informed by security reports detailing plans by some unnamed persons and groups to hide under the protests “to cause anarchy and security breach.”
According to him, the groups wanted to unleash the kind of upheaval currently going on in Syria and other Arab countries, saying the Federal Government has the constitutional responsibility to forestall such actions. Mohammed said if soldiers were not deployed in Lagos and other parts of the Northeastern parts of the country, the nation would have been on fire by now, stressing that the Federal Government has been able to achieve some measure of success by confining the activities of the Boko Haram sect mainly to the northeastern part of the country.
The minister said the country has come out of the fuel subsidy protests stronger and more united with strong commitment to the growth, development and sustenance of democracy.
[Source: The Nation]