FORMER spokesman for the Nigerian Army Brigadier Sani Usman has backed his one-time colleagues accused of murdering innocent protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, saying they could not have killed anyone as they would have used blank bullets.
Last Tuesday, Nigerian Army troops opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, killing several of them. This cold blooded murder sparked a national outrage across the country and people have since taken to the streets, setting fire to public buildings and looting warehouses, shops and the homes of the wealthy.
However, since the incident, the Nigerian Army has been desperately trying to absolve itself of the shooting, claiming its soldiers did not kill anyone. Debunking this, Amnesty International said its crisis response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirmed that security forces were present at the Lekki Toll Gate when the shootings occurred.
Brigadier Usman, an ex-director of army public relations, has waded into the crisis, claiming that military personnel who shot protesters at Lekki toll gate used blank ammunition. He added that the blank ammunition used to disperse protesters has little or no effect on its targets, so they could have killed anyone.
“If you look at the canisters, they were blank ammo and blank ammo don’t even kill. At a close range, maybe 100 metres, maybe it will have some pigmentation on your skin. 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. However, they were professional enough to have done that,” Brigadier Usman added.