Controversies over the involvement of troops in the control of #EndSARS protests deepened on Tuesday evening as the Nigerian Army said the Lagos Government asked the military to be involved in putting an end to #EndSARS protests after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu imposed a 24- hour curfew on the State.
Major Osoba Olaniyi, Acting Deputy Director, Public Relations of the 81 Division of Nigerian Army said this while reacting to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilians’ protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza.
According to Olaniyi, the Army was invited “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.
Olaniyi, however, insisted that the troops did not kill anybody and was not involved in any massacre, contrary to the allegations in the viral video.
“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 of the 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.
“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 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,” Olaniyi said.