After a week of silence, the Nigerian Army finally addressed the massacre which happened at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday, October 20.
It was disclosed that soldiers were deployed at the instance of the state government, however, the operatives did not kill anybody there.
Recall that there were allegations that some #EndSARS protesters were killed last week Tuesday by soldiers deployed to disperse young Nigerians protesting the unjust brutality by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
However, army officials have rebutted the claim, insisting that soldiers were deployed at the instance of the Lagos State Government to help in the enforcement of the 24 hour curfew imposed on the state last week Wednesday.
This was explained in a statement titled ‘Alleged Massacre of Protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza’, which was issued by 81 Division of the Nigerian Army and signed by its Public Relations Officer, Major Osoba Olaniyi.
The statement reads:
“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.
“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.
“Finally, Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army reiterates Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities did not shoot at any civilian as there are glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact.
“This allegation is the hand work 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,” the statement said.
In response to the statement issued by the army, a top official of the Lagos State Government told the Daily Trust last night that they would not join issues with the army.
“Yes, they were asked to enforce the curfew but nobody asked them to go to Lekki,” he said.