The Nigerian Army has revealed that it deployed its squad to Lekki tollgate Lagos during the EndSARS protest on Tuesday night October 20 2020.
The deployment was revealed by the Acting Deputy Directo, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi who said that the allegation of opening fire on protesters was to tarnish the image of Nigerian Army.
According to him, the Army in Lagos barracks were invited by Lagos State government at the Lekki toll gate to calm several attacks that took over the state including the burning of different police stations and killing of many police officers.
He said soldiers were ordered to go there due to curfew imposed on the state to maintain calmness but never had any instruction of shooting anyone.
He further said that the soldiers did not open fire on the protesters as they followed the instruction.
“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,” Olaniyi said.
“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 is 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.”