The Nigerian Army has called on Nigerians and other residents in the country to guard against been used by local and foreign agents to destabilized the country following the controversial Lekki shooting during the youth protests against police brutality.
Penpushing reports that, the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi gave the caution note and advice in a statement on Sunday insisting that the army deployed to the Lekki toll gate in the wake of the protest used blank ammunition against the protesters
‘The attention of the Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to news items on both the social and mainstream media insinuating that the troops of Nigerian Army contradicted its evidence of firing blank ammunition when it also carried live ammunition for Internal Security Operations on the 20 October 2020’,he said.
‘We hereby state unequivocally that carrying both blank and live ammunition is part of our Table of Equipment for Internal Security operations. It is part of the Rules of Engagement for soldiers on Internal Security operations to carry both live and blank ammunition. The use of any of these ammunition as stated in our Rules of Engagement depends on the level of threat at the operational area’.
The Acting Deputy Director explained that one of the principles of internal security operations is the use of minimum force, adding that minimum force in itself is a function of the assessment of the commander on the ground.
‘In this circumstances ie The Lekki Toll Gate, the Commander on the ground assessed that there was no need to use live ammunition that was why only blank ammunition was used at the Lekki Toll Gate’, Olaniyi insisted.
‘The blank ammunition was fired into the sky and not at the protester. The results are all glaring as there was no fatality recorded – this has been corroborated by both BBC report and other reputable news media outfits’. he stated.
‘The use of blank ammunition/minimum force achieved the aim of dispersing the hoodlums and crowd. It is pertinent to reiterate that the Nigerian Army is a law-abiding institution that acts in tandem with her Rules of Engagement. We therefore wish to advise all stakeholders to guard against being used by local and foreign agents of destabilization who do not wish this country any good’, Olaniyi emphasised.
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