Lekki Tollgate: Nigerian Army Denies Shooting Peaceful #EndSARS Protesters, Says Lagos Invited Military To Restore Order
Nigerian Army has disassociated itself from a viral videos on social media in which it was alleged that peaceful #EndSARS protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki tollgate on Tuesday, October 20.
Exactly a week ago, peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the tollgate were brutally shoot by security operatives said to soldiers, leaving at least 12 people dead and several others injured.
Since the heavily condemned incident, there has been conflicting information about the details of the event including the identity of the shooters.
Eyewitnesses’ accounts through videos and images shared online showed that men dressed in army uniform were at the scene of the increment and were the shooters.
However, Defence Headquarters spokesman, John Enenche denied both allegations, saying the videos may have been ‘photoshopped’.
In another conflicting account, Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu during an interview with CNN reporter, Becky Anderson, admitted that soldiers were at the tollgate on Tuesday.
Nigerian Army in its latest reaction in a statement issued by Acting Deputy Director Public Relations of 81 Division, Major Osona Olaniyi, has now said soldiers were not involved in the shooting.
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.
The spokesman continued that the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24 hours curfew was imposed.
Read Also: #EndSARS: Lagos Govt Imposes 24-Hour Curfew
Major Olaniyi expressed;
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 LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy.
The intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures.
All the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for internal security operations.
The Army reiterated that it did not shoot at any civilian, stressing;
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.