Nigerian Army claims Lagos govt invited soldiers to enforce curfew, denies shooting EndSARS protesters

Nigerian Army claims Lagos govt invited soldiers to enforce curfew, denies shooting EndSARS protesters

The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lagos, said on Tuesday its troops were invited by the state government to enforce the curfew imposed on the state.

The Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 81 Division, Maj. Osoba Olaniyi, who disclosed this in a statement, said the troops were requested to restore law and order 24 hours after the curfew was declared.

Olaniyi insisted that the soldiers did not shoot at the #EndSARS protesters, adding that the personnel acted within “the confines of the Rules of Engagement for Internal Security operations.”

Armed soldiers had on October 20 reportedly opened fire on #EndSARS protesters in the Lekki area of the state.

The attack on the harmless protesters sparked angry response within and outside the country with many asking the Federal Government to order a comprehensive probe of the incident.

The army spokesman said: “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 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 Lagos State government 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 for Internal Security operations.”

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