Sani Usman, a former spokesman of the Nigerian Army, says soldiers fired blank bullets at the Lekki #Endsars protest ground, and not live ammunition
Sani Usman, a former spokesman of the Nigerian Army, says soldiers fired blank bullets at the Lekki #Endsars protest ground, and not live ammunition as widely claimed.
The Nigerian army opened fire at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos where youth demonstrated against police brutality. Although they initially denied reports of being involved in the incident, they would later admit that they were invited to restore order.
He accused various persons and organisations – including Amnesty International – which had fingered the army in the reported killings – of politicising the issue and lying against the military.
“People have decided to denigrate the military and to turn the military as the fall guy but evidence on ground does not support that assertion,” said Usman who retired from active service in 2019.
“Yes, there was the deployment of the military; to what extent and all that, it will be determined by the commission of enquiry. If you look at the canisters, they were blank ammo and blank ammo don’t even kill. At a close range, maybe 100-metres, it will have some pigmentation on your skin. Let’s leave the commission of enquiry to do its job. But it is very dangerous for anybody to politicise security in this country. The military is a symbol of national unity and national power; they should be insulated from all these politics.”
He added that the military should be commended for avoiding “serious collateral damage” during the shooting.
“Remember the military are armed and by the nature of their training, they are trained to kill and I think the military in its wisdom instead of using live ammunition decided to use blank armour which is meant for training. I think they should be commended for that otherwise there would have been serious collateral damage, but they were professional enough to have done that.”