…Says ‘NA Soldiers Never Opened Fire On Protesters’
As controversies continue to trail the circumstances surrounding the alleged shooting of unarmed and peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, the Nigerian Army has come out to say that the Lagos State government invited it to intervene in the fallout of the #EndSARS protest.
The Army also further disassociated itself from “a viral video on social media, in which it was alleged that civilian protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza.”
A statement issued by the Acting Deputy Director, Public Relations of 81 Division, Major Osona Olaniyi, “This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country. At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian.
“From the onset of the #EndSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved.”
Olaniyi added that the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State government after a 24-hours curfew was imposed.
The statement added, “This was as a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away.
“The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that the LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy.”
Olaniyi contented that the intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures, adding, “All the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for internal security operations.”
Reiterating that it did not shoot at any civilian, the Nigerian Army said, “There are glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact.
“This allegation is the handwork of mischief makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army. The general public is hereby enjoined to discountenance this allegation as there is no iota of truth therein.”