Lagos Govt, Nigerian Army Trade Blames as Truth Gradually Unfolds About Lekki Toll Gate Killings
The initial blanket denials by Lagos State government and the Nigerian Army of knowledge and involvement in the killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on the 20th day of October are gradually bursting in the face of officials of both authorities.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu first admitted in a CNN interview reported by politicsnigeria.com on Monday that Nigerian military officers ordered the shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate last week Tuesday.
He said CCTV footage gotten from the scene of the shooting disclosed officers of the Nigerian Army were responsible for the attack.
When asked who ordered the shooting and which security branch carried out the order, Sanwo-olu replied that “From the footage that we can see, there are cameras at that facility. It seems to me that there were men in military uniform, should be Nigerian Army.”
When the interviewer pressed further by asking “So you’re saying that it was military officers who ordered peaceful protesters to be shot in lekki?”, the governor replied, “Yes, they were there. That’s what it shows”.
But the Nigeris Army came out on Tuesday to say that Lagos State government invited soldiers to restore sanity at Lekki Toll Gate.
The Nigerian Army, in a statement Tuesday night, said that the decision to deploy its men to Lekki Tollgate on October 20, where peaceful #EndSARS protesters were gathered, was based on the request of the Lagos State government.
The Army also said its men did not shoot at the #EndSARS protesters at the scene.
It described the allegation of killing of protesters by soldiers as unfounded, attributing it to the handiwork of mischief-makers.
The statement read:
“The attention of Headquarters 81 Division of the 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 the 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 was involved.
“However, the decision to call in the Military was taken by the Lagos State Government after a 24-hour 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 Lagos State Government requested 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 that the Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities did not shoot at any civilian as there are glaring and convincing pieces of evidences to attest to this fact.
“This allegation is the handwork 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.”
Nigerian Sketch has been told that barring any unforeseen circumstance, the governor of Lagos State governor appears set to give more revelations about what truly transpired on Tuesday October 20, 2020.