The Nigeria Army has revealed reasons it’s personnel moved to the Lekki Protest ground and other locations in Lagos.
Brigadier General, Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo, the Commander 81 Division Nigeria Army, has said that troops were deployed throughout Lagos State on October 20 during the End SARS protests.
Taiwo explained that the action was taken to further check the violence and bloodshed that gas erupted.
His comment was an apparent response to speculations that soldiers only marched to the Lekki toll plaza.
He testified under oath on Saturday before the Lagos Judicial Panel.
The General said worldwide, it is custom that the Army intervenes when a situation overcomes the police and paramilitary services.
He noted that the occurrences that took place from October 18 were nothing short of lawlessness.
“Due to the urgency of the situation, it is no wonder the Governor (Babajide Sanwo-Olu) declared a 24-hour curfew which was supposed to start by 4 o’clock. Analyzing that further, it shows the situation was so dire and they (Lagos) wanted everyone off the street. After some observation, this timing was shifted to 9pm.
“However, these timings were not communicated to the Nigerian Army. Be that as it may, the Nigerian Army deployed immediately (after Lagos invitation) to forestall further violence and loss of lives. Contrary to what is out there, it was done throughout Lagos State upon receipt of Stage 4 of IS Security.
AUTHENTIC ALSO POSTED: How Buhari caused killings at Lekki toll gate – Guru Maharaji Ji
“Phase 4 is the immediate deployment of soldiers outside the barracks to intervene. To show how dire the situation was, the fire alarm beagle was sounded. When this is done, you report immediately to the parade ground. Troops were deployed from Badagry, Ikrodu, Epe, Apapa, Ikeja, Alimosho and Lagos Island to restore order.”
Taiwo stressed that it is inexcusable for the Army to stand aside and watch the situation deteriorate.
He insisted that lethal force was not used and that the rules of engagement for internal security were strictly followed.
The General said protesters pelted soldiers with stones and bottles, but that they fired blank bullets in the air to disperse them.
End SARS: Sanwo-Olu denied inviting Army to Lekki tollgate for some reasons- General Ahmed Taiwo
The Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Taiwo has said the Nigerian Army is not happy that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu denied inviting its men to Lekki tollgate where End SARS protesters were gathered on October 20, 2020.
Taiwo said this on Saturday while testifying before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the Lekki incident.
The General, however, said inviting the military was the best decision Sanwo-Olu could have made.
However, he said Sanwo-Olu was forced to deny it, because of “the way everything went”.
“I spoke with the governor and said the Army was unhappy that he said he did not ask for the Army’s intervention.
“But I am sure that after you watched everything (video footage), you saw he had more than enough grounds to ask for the Army’s intervention; perhaps it was the way everything went,” Taiwo said.
AUTHENTIC ALSO POSTED: INVESTIGATION: Bullets, Blood ,Death: Untold Story of what happened at Lekki Toll Gate
Sanwo-Olu had claimed that forces beyond his control were responsible for the Lekki shooting but the Army Headquarters fired back in a statement insisting that the Lagos State government invited the soldiers to the protest ground and that the soldiers acted within the rules of engagement.