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ENDSARS

We won’t disclose identity of soldiers deployed to Lekki Tollgate – Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army has stated that it can not disclose the number and identities of its officers who were at the scene of the Lekki shootings.

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The Nigeria Army has given reasons why it will not disclose the identities and the number of personnel that was deployed to Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. The Army said its unprofessional and against the operational security of the organization to disclose their identities.

This disclosure was made by the acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division’s spokesperson, Major Osoba Olaniyi, during an interview with Punch newspaper.

When asked the number of personnel involved, 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.”

He also explained that it was not the duty of the judicial panel to invite the Army to answer questions regarding the reported shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll plaza.

Olaniyi pointed out that the army intervened in the Lekki tollgate incident based on a request from the Lagos State Government and that it would only appear before the panel based on same directive from the state government.

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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 not the duty of the members of the panel to tell us that. If the state wants the (81) Division to come, they will write and we will oblige. See, if they have written to the division, it is our duty to go. It is not for them to go through the media as if we are scared of coming.

“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.”

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What you should know

Nairametrics had earlier reported the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, by the Nigerian Army. Although the army initially denied involvement in the Lekki shootings, it later disclosed that its officers were at the Lekki Tollgate on the invitation of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to enforce a curfew imposed on the state last Tuesday.

There have been different accounts of the fatality figures for the incident, Amnesty International claimed that 10 persons allegedly died. An eyewitness, DJ Switch, said about 15 protesters died. While the Ogun state governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun claimed not more than 2 persons died.

However, the Lagos state government is yet to release any official figures of casualties.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Austin

    November 1, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    I they army general said, those armies were thugs in army uniform. Also that the shooting and killing were Photoshoped. They have finally agree they were men of the Nigeria Army.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Protest hijack was catalysed by fake news – Lai Mohammed

The hijack of #EndSARS protests was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has said.

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Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has claimed that the hijack of the #EndSARS protests was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, which spread like wildfire on social media.
The Minister disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting with members of the broadcasting organizations of Nigeria (BON) on Friday in Abuja.

He said, “The violence that resulted from the hijack of the #EndSARS protest was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, which spread like wildfire on social media. And this did not come to us as a surprise. As far back as 2017, we had been raising the alarm on the risks posed by fake news and disinformation.
“That year, we devoted the National Council on Information to the issue of fake news, hate speech, and disinformation. The following year, in 2018, we launched the national campaign against fake news and disinformation, partnering with a number of print and electronic media organizations.
 
“Ladies and gentlemen, social media was used to guide arsonists and looters to certain properties, both public and private, during the #EndSARS violence. Then, pictures of persons, including some celebrities and even non-Nigerians, who were supposedly killed at the Lekki Toll Gate by soldiers, were circulated widely, only for those persons to refute such claims.
 
“This brings me to the issue of social media regulation. You must have heard about the hoopla this issue has generated in the media. Well, I want to confirm that we will definitely act to ensure a responsible use of social media. You may call that regulation.
He added that the FG had no plans to stifle press freedom in Nigeria and had no intention of shutting down the internet.
 
“This government has no plan to stifle free speech, neither do we have any intention of shutting down the internet. Social media has come to stay, and those who use it responsibly have nothing to fear.
“But we cannot give the same assurance for those who weaponize social media. By the way, the issue of regulating social media content is generating debate around the world, so Nigeria is not an exception,” he said.
What you should know 
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Lai Mohammed said the Federal Government had no plans of shutting down social media, but must regulate it to prevent the spread of hate speech.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS Sanctions: Nigeria has reached out to the UK Government – Foreign Minister

Onyeama has stated that the FG has reached out to the UK Government over the parliamentary debate on the #EndSARS protests.

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#EndSARS Sanctions: Nigeria has reached out to the UK Government - Foreign Minister, Chinese Visa Restriction: Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues clarification, London evacuation flight rescheduled to July 14

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the Nigerian Government has reached out to the UK Government over the parliamentary debate on the #EndSARS protests.

The Minister disclosed this to Newsmen at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Thursday, which was recorded by Channels TV.

READ: Gov. Makinde presents N266 billion budget to Oyo State House of Assembly

He added that the UK Parliament did not speak for the UK government, and that the UK had heard the Nigerian government’s side regarding the incident at Lekki.

READ: FG reacts to CNN report, describes Lekki shooting as massacre without bodies

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“On the issue of the UK parliament, yes, we have reached out to the UK government on this question. The meeting that took place was of Parliamentarians, they don’t speak for the UK government and the UK government which acts for the United Kingdom has also heard the side of the (Nigerian) government regarding everything that happened.

READ: #EndSARS: Bankers’ Committee, Private sector lead Lagos rebuilding team to raise trust fund

“So we are in touch with them and engaging with them. But, of course, as in any democracy, the Members of Parliament are able to also air their views, but what is important is that a balanced picture is made available to them all before they take any decision,” Onyeama said.

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READ: DPR approves new Liquefied Petroleum Gas guidelines for investors, operators

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported earlier this week that the British Parliament had announced it would consider a petition by some groups and individuals, asking it to apply sanctions against the Nigerian government and officials for alleged human rights violations during the #EndSARS protest and Lekki shooting incident.

Also, the presidency earlier disclosed that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had a meeting with the UK Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, accompanied by the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: States affected by violence should get 1% VAT – Senate

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The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Government to give states that were affected by lootings and destruction by hoodlums after the anti-police brutality protests,  1% of all Value Added Tax (VAT).

This motion was moved by Senators Abiodun Olujimi and Gershom Bassey on Tuesday and disclosed in a report by Channels TV.

What you should know 

After the lootings and destruction by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests, Nairametrics reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said Lagos State will need about N1 trillion for the reconstruction and repair of the properties and infrastructure that was vandalized in the process.

The Senators moving the motion declared that destruction caused in Lagos by hoodlums was valued at a range of over N1 trillion by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

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(READ MORE: #EndSARS: Insurance firms can seek refund after indemnifying victims – MD, NICON Insurance)

Senator Gershom Bassey also revealed that hoodlums attacked federal properties in Calabar like the WAEC office and looted food warehouses in the state.

“Cross River State being a predominantly Civil Service State may not overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed state infrastructure were built from lean state resources over the years,” Bassey disclosed.

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Senator Sani Musa said the lootings which started in Lagos spread to other states, leading to the destruction of properties and urged for the FG’s assistance.

“#EndSARS came as a peaceful protest, but turned violent. It started in Lagos and later spread to other states which led to the destruction of homes, businesses, and government offices. It is very unfortunate. The government needs to rebuild what was destroyed and pay compensation as well. It is their responsibility,” Musa said.

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