Army says no massacre at Lekki toll gate

•Insists Lagos govt called in military after 24-hour curfew was imposed

THE Nigerian Army has denied the allegation that its men were responsible for shooting at Lekki toll plaza on Tuesday last week.

In a statement signed by the Acting Deputy Director, Public Relations, 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major Osoba Olaniyi, the army authorities described as untrue, the claim 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,” the statement said.

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The army also said “from the outset 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 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 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 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 handwork of mischief-makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army.” The army authorities, therefore, enjoined the general public to discountenance the allegation as there was no iota of truth therein.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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