Lekki shooting: Lagos govt invited us but we didn’t shoot protesters —Nigerian Army

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By Ayo Fadimu

The Nigerian Army said the Lagos state government invited it to intervene in the fallout of the #EndSARS protest.

The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lagos, in its explanation said its troops were invited to enforce the curfew imposed on the state by the Lagos State Government.

It said the troops were requested to restore law and order 24 hours after the curfew was declared.

The army, however, insisted that the soldiers did not shoot at the #EndSARS protesters, adding that the personnel acted within “the confines of the Rules of Engagement for Internal Security operations.”

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday titled, ‘Press release on alleged massacre of protesters at Lekki toll gate,’ signed by the acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Maj. Osoba Olaniyi.

The army had been under fire for shooting some #EndSARS protesters and taking their dead bodies away.

But Olaniyi described the allegations as untrue, stressing that at no time did the soldiers fired at the protesters.

He stated, “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division 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 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.

A top aide of Lagos State governor who spoke under the condition of anonymity told our Correspondent that  the governor was right in inviting the Army to restore law and order in the State because the situation was getting out of hand.

“You can see that police stations were being burnt, security agents were being attacked, public properties were being destroyed, so the governor was right. Edo state governor and even President Donald Trump invited the Army when protest turned violent in the country.

“However, we should also look into what the Army said that it didn’t shoot any protester. This corroborated what the governor had been saying that no death was recorded at Lekki. We should not allow social media fake news to  burn down the state,” he said.