The Nigerian Army has defended its use of fire power in the wake of attacks from protesters in the capital, Abuja.
The Army has previously tweeted photos of wounded soldiers who suffered from rock pelting religious protesters seeking the release of their detained leader.
The new defense is interesting as the army chose to go across the ocean to the United States. The army’s official Twitter handle shared a video by US president Donald Trump. It’s caption was simple: “Please Watch and Make your Deductions.”
What Trump said
I will tell you this, anybody throwing stones, rocks; like they did to Mexico – the Mexican military, the Mexican police, where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico…
We will consider that a firearm, because there is not much difference. When you get hit in the face with a rock, which as you know, it looked very violent, very very violent a few days ago.
Because they are throwing rocks viciously and violently, you saw that three days ago, really hurting the military. We are not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back.
We are going to consider, and I told them to consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.
Nigeria Army and Shi’ites clashes in Abuja
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, have this week clashed with soldiers during protests in Abuja seeking the release from detention of their leader, Mohammed Al Zakzaky.
Whiles the army reported of injuries to its personnel deployed to control the protesters, IMN reports that dozens of its supporters were killed even though the army put the death toll at three.
International rights group, Amnesty International, put the deaths at over 40 over the two days of clashes. The army shot live rounds after protesters tried to overrun a checkpoint.
“Video footage and eyewitness testimonies consistently show that the Nigerian military dispersed peaceful gatherings by firing live ammunition without warning, in clear violation of Nigerian and international law,” an Amnesty statement read.