Nigeria Army tweets Trump video to justify armed protest clampdown

Cheryl Sanders
November 4, 2018

Nigeria's army on Friday posted a video of US President Donald Trump saying soldiers would shoot migrants throwing stones to justify opening fire on a Shiite group this week.

The army posted a now-deleted tweet featuring a video of Mr Trump encouraging armed troops to shoot at any Central American refugees and migrants who throw rocks at authorities when crossing the United States border. "They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back", Trump said, referring to an incident in which some members of the caravan of Central American asylum seekers heading to the USA threw rocks at Mexican authorities.

The army's Twitter account posted a video, "Please Watch and Make Your Deductions", showing Trump's speech, The New York Times reported.

Speaking to the BBC, Nigeria Army spokesman Brigadier General John Agim said they posted the video in response to Amnesty International's criticism of the army's deadly attacks on Shia protesters.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) claimed 49 of its members were killed after the army and police fired live bullets at crowds who marched near and in the capital, Abuja.

The army's official death toll was six.

In a November 1 speech on immigration, when asked by a reporter if active duty soldiers being sent to the US border with Mexico would fire on migrants seeking asylum, Trump said he hoped not. The US Embassy in Abuja, the site of the protests, called for a "thorough investigation" to "hold accountable those responsible for violations of Nigerian law".

In Nigeria, Trump is a popular figure among many people who praise what they regard as his straightforwardness and frank talk despite his reported insult to the nation a year ago when he said Nigerians in the United States would never "go back to their huts" in Africa. "When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle".

"We're not going to put up with that".

"The video was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist [Shiite] protesters".

Agim said if David could kill Goliath with a stone, stones should be considered as weapons.

Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, is nearly evenly split between a mostly Muslim north - which is predominantly Sunni - and a largely Christian south.

The protesters were demanding the release of its leader Ibrahim Zakzaky, an outspoken Shia cleric, who has been detained since 2015.

Sunni jihadist group Boko Haram condemns Shias as heretics who should be killed.

Because they are throwing rocks viciously and violently, you saw that three days ago, really hurting the military.

Other reports by iNewsToday