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Sanwo-Olu counters Army, says soldiers were deployed to Lekki toll gate

SANWO-OLU

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has admitted that the Nigerian Army deployed troops to the Lekki tollgate area of the state on Tuesday night.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Nigerian Army Headquarters denied deploying soldiers to the Lekki toll gate despite video evidence showing uniformed soldiers shooting at the scene,

But the governor, in a live broadcast on Wednesday morning, said the Army deployed troops to the protest ground in Lekki last night.

He, however, regretted the episodes of the last few hours, especially the Lekki incident where eyewitnesses said soldiers opened fire on #EndSARS protesters in a bid to disperse them.

Sanwo-Olu, who noted that as a governor, the control of military forces was not under his purview, said he was currently engaging the leadership of the Nigerian Army on the development.

The governor said, “For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. I have, nonetheless, ordered an investigation into the rules of engagement adopted by men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki toll gate last night.

“This is with a view to take this up with higher commands of the Nigerian Army and to seek the intervention of Mr President in his capacity to as the Commander-In-Chief to unravel the sequence of events that happened yesterday (Tuesday) night.”

Sanwo-Olu said about 30 youths injured in the attack are currently responding to treatment at various hospitals in the Lekki area.

Though the governor said only one death has been recorded in the incident, eyewitnesses claimed about seven lives were lost in Tuesday’s attack which has been condemned both locally and internationally.

The governor had imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state following the violence that engulfed the state leading to the burning down of no fewer than three police stations, a local government office and three bank buildings.

However, some #EndSARS protesters remained adamant and refused to vacate the Lekki tollgate which is the epicentre of the protests.

More violence and vandalism have continued to erupt in several parts of the nation’s economic capital as rampaging hoodlums torched public and private assets.

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