The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army has stated that soldiers were deployed to Lekki Toll Gate on the instance of the Lagos State Government.
The latest development by the 81 Division of the Army further faults the denial by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu that he did not invite soldiers to the Lekki Toll Gate to shoot the #EndSARS protesters who were protesting on that road.
This is also coming after the Army had denied severally that it did not deploy soldiers to shoot protesters at Lekki Toll Gate.
Recalled that it was alleged that soldiers shot and killed some unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the toll gate, a situation that led to outrage and condemnation of the Army.
The 81 Division of the Army while denying the state government’s claims, explained that soldiers were deployed on the invitation of the Lagos State Government to assist the state to enforcement of the 24 hour curfew imposed on the state last week by the government.
This was disclosed in a statement titled, ‘Alleged Massacre of Protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza” issued by 81 Division of the Nigerian Army and signed by the Public Relations Officer, Major Osoba Olaniyi,.
The 81 Division however said that the allegation that has to do with massacre was untrue and unfounded.
“The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged 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.
“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-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 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.
“Finally, Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army reiterates 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,” the statement reads.