Friday, June 25, 2021

Lekki tollgate shootings: We can’t speak yet – Nigerian Military


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, says it could not speak on the alleged shooting at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos State, urging Nigerians to wait for the outcome of the  Commission of Enquiry constituted by Governor Babajide San-wolu.

Recall that the Tuesday night shooting at the Lekki tollgate allegedly leaving several protesters dead has drawn widespread criticism from both world leaders, the International Community and Human Rights Organizations.

Reacting to the incident while fielding questions from Defence Correspondents, at the Defence Headquarters Abuja, the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, John Enenche, described the reports about soldiers shooting and killing protesters as mere allegation.

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He said: “We are dealing with major operations, anything outside this is what is called Operation MENSA, I may not want to go too much into Operation MENSA because it is not a major operation.

“We have nine Operations and other subsidiary Operations which I have been directed to focus.

“Operation MENSA is strictly under the policy directive of the various states we have them all over the country and it is the oldest of all Operations.

“For this Operation you have the Military, Navy Air Force, Civil Defence and the Police put together.

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“So these Operations are still standing and running and I am aware that the state governments are using them in all these capacities, that is internal security, the level we are now is internal security and that is why the Police proactively came out and then deployed all their Force package that are necessary to handle that so that is where we are.

“So if there was anything and if it is true, why am I saying if it is true because up to this morning, I even called analysts who have analyzed videos that were photoshoped and put together, if not that I am not permitted, I would have forwarded it to you.

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 “The issue is not an operation that I can respond to. But I can tell you that it is an allegation for now, so let us not set the cart before the horse.

“If the matter was still open-ended I would have had I response for you but is no longer open-ended, because immediately, not even up to five hours, before midnight the Governor of Lagos set up an Inquiry, so whatever we say now will not be fair to the Commission.”

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