Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State governor, will react later today to the claims by Nigerian Army that the state government invited soldiers to restore sanity at Lekki Toll Gate.
The Nigerian Army, on a statement on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, said that the decision to deploy its men to Lekki Tollgate on October 20, where peaceful #EndSARS protesters were gathered, was based on the request of the Lagos State government.
When contacted to react on the claim, a Lagos State government official who spoke on anonymity on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, said,
‘The state governor will react to this at the appropriate time, probably, later today. “We have to be very careful in making a careless statement. It is a very sensitive issue.
That’s all I can say for now.” The Nigerian Army, Tuesday, finally broke its silence on the Lekki Tollgate shootings in Lagos, exonerating its men from shooting at the #EndSARS protesters last Tuesday.
it described the allegation of killing of protesters by soldiers as unfounded, attributing it to the handiwork of mischief-makers.
The statement read: “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilians protesters were massacred by soldiers at the Lekki Toll plaza.
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 was involved.
However, the decision to call in the Military was taken by the Lagos State Government after a 24-hour curfew was imposed. 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 Lagos State Government requested the Military to intervene, in order to restore normalcy.
The intervention of the Military followed all laid down procedures for internal security operations. And all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement, ROE for internal security operations”.
Finally, headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army reiterates that the Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities did not shoot at any civilian as there are glaring and convincing pieces of evidences 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.”