The Nigerian Army has disclosed that it was invited by the Lagos State Government to intervene following the #EndSARS protests and declaration of a curfew, but denied shooting at protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in the state.
The Army said the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos government to restore order and prevent anarchy.
The Army in a Statement on Tuesday Night by Osoba Olaniyi, Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, however insisted that 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.
It dismissed a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilians protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza as false, stating that there are glaring evidence to attest that soldiers did not open fire on civilians.
“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.
“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 read.