The Nigerian military say it will not disclose the identity or number of its personnel deployed to Lekki toll gate during the #ENDSARS protest across the country.
The acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division’s spokesperson, Major Osoba Olaniyi, stated this in an interview he granted the Sunday Punch, adding that it would be unprofessional to release the number of personnel deployed.
He was quoted to have 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, stressing 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.
“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,” he said.