The Nigerian Army has once again denied it fired gunshots at protesters who were gathered at the Lekki toll plaza.
The Nigerian Army has stated that the alleged massacre of protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza is untrue, unfounded, and aimed at causing anarchy in the country and that their presence was requested by the Lagos State Government to restore normalcy.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi, on Tuesday evening, as the world draws attention to the Lekki shootings last week.
In the statement, the Army said: “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilian protesters were massacred by soldiers at 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.
The Army said that the 81st Division never got involved in the #EndSARS protests. However, Lagos State called the Army after a 24-hour curfew was imposed due to reports of Police stations being burnt.
“From the onset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved. However, the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24 hours 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 LASG requested for 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,” the statement read.
The Army insisted that they did not shoot any civilian and that there is glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact. They maintained that the allegations of shootings is the “hand work of mischief makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army.”
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last week that several social media accounts had revealed that peaceful protesters were allegedly being shot at by the military at the Lekki toll holdout. The Nigerian Army, however, denied deploying soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters who assembled there.
The Lagos State Government ordered an investigation into the Lekki Toll Plaza shooting that was allegedly done by some men of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday evening. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had also stated that Lagos State would not burn on his watch, as he tried to calm things down after hoodlums wreaked havoc post-Lekki shootings, and announced that the Judicial panel set up by the state would include the incident.
Nairametrics earlier reported that Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had insisted that there were only two confirmed deaths during the shooting incident that happened a week ago at the Lekki Tollgate.