The Nigerian Army has denied that its officials shot at protesters in Lekki Toll Gate Plaza on Tuesday evening.
We had earlier reported how security agents in military camouflage opened fire on protesters at the Lekki toll gate, in Lagos State, yesterday, 20th of October.
It was learnt that the streetlights were put off and the CCTV cameras removed before the security agents stormed the venue.
The attack on unarmed protesters after the Lagos State Government imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, left many people dead. The figures could rise with many other protesters injured from the shootings.
Multiple videos captured by citizens show the moment soldiers opened fire on the protesters, and the clips show terrified citizens crouching and screaming as gunshots rented the air.
The army has, however, labelled the reports false on all its verified social media accounts.
The army in a Facebook post branded several reports linking soldiers at the tollgate as fake news, stating,
“No soldiers were at the scene”.
When contacted on Tuesday evening, the spokesperson of the military outfit, Sagir Musa, told PREMIUM TIMES that protest is a civil matter and the army has nothing to do with the attack.
Meanwhile, when reporter confronted him with the multiple evidence indicating that the shooters were soldiers, Mr Musa said; “I am not aware.”
Several Nigerians at home and abroad have condemned the killings of Tuesday night, describing it as an act of wickedness against the unarmed protesters.
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki condemned the actions of the government, urging the President to call the officers to order.
“I have watched with horror the use of force against the Lekki #EndSARS protesters. My heart bleeds for the country. It is sad and disheartening that this is happening. These are peaceful youth protesting to express legitimate concerns. It is unacceptable for any Government to turn its weapons on its own young people. What has happened in Lekki tonight is nothing but a massacre.
“This shooting must stop immediately and the security agents that carried out this exercise should be ordered to stop. No life of any Nigerian youth taking part in a peaceful protest deserves to be taken.
“Killing our defenceless youth is wrong — regardless of the circumstance. Killing our children our youth is also killing our future as a nation. We must take a quick walk back from this. We must do all that is necessary to protect and engage with the youth on all issues. Let the shooting stop and let fruitful dialogue commence,”
Mr Saraki’s statement read.