The Lagos Observers Group (LOG) says Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, must apologise to the Nigerian Army for misleading the general public on the EndSARS protests.
The group said this has become paramount after reviewing circumstances that led to the escalation of violence in the state during the protest while analysing the Army’s testimony as well as other critical stakeholders before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.
In a communique co-signed by Folarin John Odusote and Dr Boboye Olarewaju, its chairman and secretary respectively, on Monday, the LOG said the Army’s testament was factual to support their position that the EndSARS campaign was not a reflection of the reality on the ground.
The group noted that indeed Governor Sanwo-Olu called for reinforcement from the Army when it was apparent that the Police has been overwhelmed.
It also said that the soldiers deployed to the Lekki Tollgate were pelted with stones and other items upon arrival but did not have live bullets.
At the end of its extraordinary general meeting, the group, however, said the allegations levelled against the Army are “fictitious and meant to disparage the timely intervention of the troops”.
According to the Lagos Observers Group, there is overwhelming evidence that indeed the Nigerian Army was invited by the Governor of Lagos State.
The group called on Sanwo-Olu to tender an apology to the troops.
Read full communique below:
The Lagos Observers a pan-Nigerian group with membership cutting across all ethnic nationalities, religious groups and professional bodies convoked an extraordinary general meeting to deliberate on the recent revelations made by the Nigerian Army at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.
The Lagos Observers Group in the attempt to put issues in proper perspectives given the enormity of the task at hand in unraveling the circumstances that led to the escalation of violence in the state during the EndSARS protest reviewed the testimony by the Nigerian Army and other critical stakeholders before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.
Members of the Lagos Observers Group deliberated on the facts presented by the Nigerian Army with regards to the following:
The use of live bullets
Who invited the Nigerian Army
How many people died and what led to the death
Was there a case of provocation
The Lagos Observers group indeed noted that the testimony by the Nigerian Army was backed by facts and evidence to support their position which is an indication that the bulk of the information on the EndSARS campaign was not a reflection of the reality on the ground.
Our members took the time to scrutinize the various testimonies by other concerned parties involved in the EndSARS protest to identify the number of casualties as a result of the intervention of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Tollgate.
The members of the Lagos Observers group after extensive deliberations and fact checks indeed identified that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu called for reinforcement from the Nigerian Army when it was apparent that the Nigerian Police has been overwhelmed and things were about to get out of control.
It was also discovered that the soldiers deployed to the Lekki Tollgate were pelted with stones and other items upon arrival in an already tensed atmosphere susceptible to the crisis of immeasurable proportion in the Lekki-Ikoyi axis.
The soldiers deployed at the Lekki Tollgate did not have live bullets as widely claimed and reported by a large segment of the population. What was used were blank ammunitions usually deployed in quelling riots.
It was also discovered that soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate fired into the air to disperse the already riotous crowd and not into the crowd as erroneously stated in different quarters. This fact is buttressed with the fact that the only death recorded at the Lekki Tollgate was not as a result of gunshot injuries.
It was also discovered that even in the face of provocation, the soldiers remained calm and within their mandate of dispersing the crowd with the use of minimal force. This much was seen in the various video recordings scrutinized.
The Lagos Observers group at the end of its extraordinary general meeting herby makes the following conclusions:
That the allegations levelled against the Nigerian Army are indeed fictitious and meant to disparage the timely intervention of the Nigerian Army in the restoration of law and order in Lagos state.
This is on the heels that despite the denial of the Lagos State Governor with regards to the invitation extended to the Nigerian Army to intervene to restore law and order, there has been an avalanche of evidence that indicates that indeed the Nigerian Army was invited by the Governor of Lagos State.
The Lagos Observers Group as a consequent of the recent revelations that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu indeed invited the Nigerian Army, we are recommending the following:
That the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu should tender an unreserved apology to the Nigerian Army for misleading the general public with regards to the intervention of the Nigerian Army during the EndSARS protests.
That the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu should in future take ownership of his actions as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Security Officer of the state.
That if the Governor fails to tender an unreserved apology, he should tow the honourable path of resignation as he would no longer be fit to occupy the position of Governor of Lagos State.