Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor, will respond to the claim by the Nigerian Army that the deployment of its personnel following the imposition of the 24-hour curfew during the #ENDSARS protest was at the request of the state government.
Recall the Nigerian Army had denied that its personnel were at the scene where some military officers cladded in their uniforms, in a viral video on social media, allegedly opened fire on protesters at Lekki Toll Gate Plaza on Tuesday October 20, resulting in the deaths of some Nigerians and others maimed.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, on his part, following the unfortunate shooting, said forces beyond his control were responsible, suggesting that the army officers got directive from a higher authority.
However, in a statement on Tuesday, the Nigerian Army admitted that it indeed deployed its personnel to Lekki Toll Gate Plaza but claimed that “at no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian”.
“However, the decision to call in the Military was taken by the Lagos State Government after a 24-hour curfew was imposed,” the Nigerian Army noted in the statement.
“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.”
While the Lagos Governor is yet to respond to the Nigerian Army’s claims, a government official who spoke on anonymity, told Vanguard, “The state governor will react to this at the appropriate time, probably, later today.
“We have to be very careful in making a careless statement. It is a very sensitive issue. That’s all I can say for now.”
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