The 81st Nigerian Army (NA) Division denied that soldiers opened fire on #ENDSARS protesters in Lekki Toll Plaza on Tuesday.
In a statement from the army’s interim director of public relations (ADPR), Major Osoba Olaniyya, the division nevertheless confirmed the soldiers’ involvement in restoring order in Lagos following the announcement of a curfew by Governor Babajide Sanvo-Olu.
The Nation says this is the first time the division has spoken of an incident last week.
It read: “A viral video on social media in which peaceful protesters were killed by soldiers in Lekki Toll Plaza caught the attention of the 81st Division headquarters of the Nigerian Army. This accusation is false, unfounded, and aimed at inciting anarchy in the country.
“Soldiers of the Nigerian army have never opened fire on civilians. From the outset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time for personnel from the 81st Nigerian Army Division to participate in Lagos.
“However, the decision to call the military was made by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24-hour curfew was imposed.
“This was the result of violence that resulted in the arson of several police stations, the killing of police officers, the release of suspects in custody, and the transport of weapons.
“The situation was rapidly developing into anarchy. It was at this point that the LASG asked the military to intervene to restore normalcy.
“The military intervention was conducted in accordance with all procedures required for internal security operations, and all participating soldiers acted within the rules of engagement (ROC) for internal security operations.
“Finally, the headquarters of the 81st division of the Nigerian army reiterates that the Nigerian army, in fulfilling its constitutional duties, did not shoot at civilians, since there is clear and convincing evidence to support this fact.
“This accusation is the work of a malice who will stop at nothing to tarnish the reputation of the Nigerian army. The general public is encouraged to deny this accusation as there is no minimum truth in it. “
Source: – The Nation