The Nigerian Army has said that it was invited to send troops to the ill-fated Lekki Toll Gate last week Tuesday and though shots were fired, no protester was shot or life lost, contrary to so many accounts, some unssubstantiated, that about 17 lives were lost.
Lagos Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, last week announced that a life was lost, while another woman, according to a story on Theeagleonline.com, lost son, though Vanguard reports he was a nephew.
A viral video clip of the shooting incident seemed to show soldiers shooting above the heads of protesters.
The Nigerian Army through one of its spokesmen, Major Osoba Olaniyi, the Acting Deputy Director of Public Relations in the 81 Division Army stated: “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division 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 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 of the Nigerian Army Lagos were involved.
“However, 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. 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 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 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”.