CLOSE UP: Major Instances Where Nigerian Army Cover Up Officers Illegalities

A photo of Nigerian Army to illustrate the story

It appears that it is not yet time to draw the curtain on the killings that marred the #EndSARS protests against police brutality in Lekki toll gate on October 20. 

Throughout the month of October, Nigerian youth were on the streets at various cities across the country against police brutality but the agitations ended violently following security operatives attack on peaceful protesters. 

On October 20, military personnel fully armed attacked shot at protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos. Amnesty International, claimed that over 10 persons were killed by the soldiers but the state government said only two people died.

In reaction to the ugly incident, the Nigerian Army through its official  Twitter  handle @HQNigerianArmy tagged the incident false. This reaction came amidst several videos evidence circulating on social media. 

There was also a live stream Instagram video by popular artiste, DJ Switch who has not gone on exile. More so, investigative reports by boths local and international media organisations detailed the shooting that occurred at Lekki.

But military officials insisted that their men acted responsibly. The soldiers never shot at protesters, the army maintained. 

While investigation is ongoing, the federal government has begun a clampdown on promoters of the protests which is not limited to seizing their international passports, freezing their bank accounts and arresting some individuals. 

On Thursday,  the minister of information,  Lai Mohammed maintained that all that happened could either be “social media massacre” or at best “massacre without bodies.”

"While we await the judicial panel in Lagos to unravel what transpired at the Lekki Toll Gate, what we can say, based on testimonies available in the public space, is that the world may have just witnessed, for the very first time ever, a massacre without bodies".

"Some have tagged it ‘social media massacre.’ The testimony of Brig.-Gen, Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo of the Nigerian Army before the panel was compelling, and I am sure many of you have listened to or watched it."

Asides the latest cover up by the Nigerian Army, we look at various instances that the army have deceived the public.  

In 2016, when there were reports backed with 87 videos by Amnesty International that military personnel dispersed Pro – Biafra protesters with live ammunition, the military denied. 

Reports exposed that no fewer than 60 members of the proscribed group, Indigenous People of the Biafra, IPOB were killed. 

Amnesty International affirmed that the victims were attacked at Onitsha and Asaba and they left with the remains of victims.  

But the Army denied. Instead, a colonel, then acting director of the Nigerian army public relations, Sani Usman, said it was IPOB members that attempted to use arms and they threatened the security of the country.

While the Nigerian Army admitted killing six members of an Islamic sect, Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) during a protest at Abuja, in 2018, New York Times investigation proved otherwise.  

The Army said the Shiites guys were stoning Tukur Buratai, the chief of army staff, hence, they had no choice than to retaliate after ten soldiers were injured.

But the New York Times video revealed that the soldiers shot at civilians who were running. 

“A close review of video from the largest and most deadly of the protests, as well as interviews with more than a dozen witnesses, clearly shows the military opening fire on unarmed demonstrators, sometimes shooting indiscriminately into the crowd at close range as people turned and tried to flee.

“Photos and videos recorded that day show at least 26 bodies. The group said it had collected a total of 49 bodies during the four days of protests,” the report stated.

“After soldiers began to fire, they targeted protesters fleeing the chaos. Many of the injured were shot in the back or legs,” the international medium report read in part. 

The military also lied in 2016 that they had killed the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau. In his statement,  the then Army spokesman, Sani Usman, said after a fight with Boko Haram said "Abubakar Shekau is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders.".

But Shekau came back barely a month in  a 40-seconds video posted on YouTube saying "Oh! tyrants, I’m in a happy state, in good health and in safety,” 

            CLICK TO READ ALSO... UK scientist invents face mask that 'kills COVID-19, other viruses'

Alas, the Army kept mum and never said anything again.

READ ALSO... We will put Nigerian companies on global visibility - NITDA, NIRA assure

No comments

After Dropping your comment, Wait for few minutes, your comments will appear below!!!