The Nigerian Army on Tuesday night accused the Lagos State Government of calling out the military to help broke the ranks of the #EndSARS protesters and make them comply to the curfew imposed by the government.
A statement from the spokesman of the Army in Lagos Major Olaniyi Osoba said the decision to deploy the military came from the Lagos State Government after a 24 hours curfew was imposed.
The statement said: “The decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24 hours 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. OIt 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 operation and all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement for internal Security Operations.”
The statement from the army said that the soldiers that were deployed never shot at any civilian and that there were convincing evidence to attest to that.
The Army described the allegation of killing of protesters by soldiers as unfounded, attributing it to the handiwork of mischief-makers.
The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, where the soldiers were allegedly deployed from, declared that its personnel never opened fire on the protesters
The statement reads in part: “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 evidence to attest to this fact.”