Following controversies surrounding the Lekki Tollgate shootings, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army (NA), on Tuesday, absolved soldiers of any involvement in the Massacre.
Major Osoba Olaniyi, the Acting Director of the Army Public Relations of the division, insisted that soldiers did not shoot at End SARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on October 20.
Olaniyi described claims of soldiers shooting at End SARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate as false.
A statement by the division’s spokesman maintained that the allegation was aimed at causing anarchy in the country.
He, however, confirmed the involvement of soldiers in restoring order in Lagos following the declaration of curfew by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
According to the statement: “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.”