- The claims that soldiers only shot into the air at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos
- The presidency recently shared a BBC video claiming that military officers did not shoot at EndSARS protesters
- The video was shared by a presidential media aide, Lauretta Onochie
The presidency has backed claims that soldiers did not shoot at EndSARS protesters in Nigeria, especially in Lekki, Lagos state.
On her Twitter page, a presidential media aide, Lauretta Onochie, shared a video clip of a BBC eyewitness report on the Lekki shooting.
In the report, a BBC Pidgin correspondent, Damilola Banjo, revealed that the protest was peaceful at the tollgate.
Banjo stated that in reaction to the sight of soldiers at the protest ground, the coordinators told those in the rally to sit on the floor.
She added that the military personnel shot in the air, not at protesters during the protest, unlike what has been claimed on several occasions.
Responding to this, Onochie tweeted:
"A BBC News eyewitness account on the Lekki shooting. God Bless Nigeria."
Meanwhile, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Victoria Island, Lagos, from where soldiers were deployed to Lekki Tollgate during EndSARS protests on Tuesday, October 20, had denied claims that its men opened fire on peaceful protesters.
Major Osoba Olaniyi, the acting deputy director of the division's public relations department, on Tuesday, October 27, admitted that the order for the deployment of soldiers was given by the Lagos state government.
Olaniyi said that the order from the state government came after the curfew was imposed following vandalisation of private and public properties, including police stations.
He added that the interventions of the soldiers were in keeping with standing procedures for internal security operations, adding that the allegations are not only false but also mischievous.
Part of the statement issued by Olaniyi denying the viral claims read:
“This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country. At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian. From the onset of the EndSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army, Lagos was involved."
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