Lekki Tollgate Shooting: Why We Won’t Disclose Identity of Soldiers Deployed – Army

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Lekki Tollgate Shooting: Why We Won’t Disclose Identity of Soldiers Deployed - Army
Nwolu Obiajulu

The Nigerian Army has said that it will reveal the identities of its personnel who were deployed in Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020.

This was disclosed by acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division’s spokesperson, Major Osoba Olaniyi.

Amnesty international and other groups have claimed varied number of casualties resulting from the Lekki toll gate area shooting though the Lagos State government claim only one person was killed. The admission followed an earlier statement that no life was lost in the shooting.

The Nigerian army had initially denied involvement in the shootings through a series of tweets.

However, the army later stated that its personnel were the ones who carried out the operation, noting that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State invited them to enforce a curfew imposed on the state in the heat of the protests in the state.

Olaniyi in an interview with Punch said it would be unprofessional to release the number of personnel deployed.

Responding to a question on the number of officers deployed, Olaniyi said, “It is against operational security. We don’t give that. It is against the policy of operational security. There is no problem here. The picture some people paint, as if we are fighting with the state government, is wrong.”

Olaniyi also said that the army will only heed to invitation by the Lagos State government rather than the members of the judicial panel of inquiry to answer questions surrounding the alleged shooting of unarmed, peaceful protesters.

He said, “If we receive a letter from the state, we will go. Are we not under civil authorities? Are we not part of Nigerians? Have you forgotten that we did not go there (Lekki tollgate) on our own?

“It is the state government that constituted that panel of inquiry. So if anybody needs to get in touch with us to come, it is still the state and not members of the panel.”

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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