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Nigerian Army backtracks, admits soldiers were at Lekki Toll-Gate during massacre

The flip-flop comes a day after Governor Sanwo-Olu said on CNN that military chiefs will be held accountable for the massacre.

• October 27, 2020
Photo of Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (Photo Credit: @HQNigerianArmy) Twitter

The Nigerian Army has retracted its initial claim that soldiers were not present at the scene of Lekki massacre on October 20.

Army’s 81 Division in Lagos said on Tuesday night that its personnel were at the protest the night of the attack, but only at the instance of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and they were not involved in any gun attack.

“At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian,” The Nation cited a military statement Monday as saying. “From the onset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time for personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved.”

“However, the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24- hour curfew was imposed,” the statement said.

Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai, who has been under public pressure to come clean on what he might know about the attack, had already said yesterday that soldiers were deployed across the country to enforce curfew declarations by governors.

The Army initially claimed on October 20 that its personnel were not anywhere near the scene of the massacre at Lekki Toll Plaza, despite widespread evidence to the contrary. 

The latest pushback came a day after Mr. Sanwo-Olu said on CNN that military chiefs will be held accountable for the massacre.

The governor has repeatedly denied asking the military to advance to Lekki for the controversial and deadly operation.

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