Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says spiritual warfare helped prevent deaths during military intervention at the Lekki toll plaza, Lagos state, on October 20.
Controversies have trailed army involvement in the #EndSARS protests against police brutality, particularly the shootings in Lekki.
Speaking on Friday at the decoration of 39 newly promoted major-generals, Buratai said a spiritual warfare seminar held by the army helped in preventing deaths at the protest ground — although there are still controversies on the casualty figure.
The army chief said most of the newly decorated generals are also graduates of spiritual warfare seminar.
“I am glad that we held the Spiritual Warfare Seminar on Wednesday and most of the decorated generals today are graduates of the seminar,” he said.
“I must say that the spiritual warfare seminar we had last time helped us during the last #EndSARS protest to the extent that there was no single corpse, but some persons were seeing double at Lekki toll gate in Lagos state.
“We will continue to protect every law abiding Nigerian anywhere in the country and we will do that in accordance with the rules of engagement and confines of the constitution.”
Buratai said military rule in Nigeria “is over” as democracy is here to stay.
He urged the decorated generals to desist from lobbying for appointments or collaborating with politicians for anti-democratic actions.
“Democracy has come to stay. We will not tolerate any agent of destabilization. The years of military misadventure in politics have never carried us anywhere. It is over,” he said.
“Do not hobnob with politicians. At this rank of two star generals, do not lobby for appointment. If you want to lobby for appointment, lobby the chief of army staff and you can only do this through hard work, discipline and loyalty.
“The crop of officers (39 major generals) decorated yesterday will never be dragged into any interest that is contrary to the sustenance of democracy in our nation.
“All our eyes are on you. We know there are several moves to get your attention. You must make sure that whatever you are doing, and when some persons approach you, you must act within the confines of the constitution.”
A CNN investigation named Victor Sunday Ibanga as a protester who died on the night of the military involvement and linked shells of live rounds found at the scene to the Nigerian army.
The army insisted it fired only blank bullets and did not shoot into the crowd.