By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduns
This was explained in a statement signed by the Acting Deputy Director 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi, made available to newsmen on Sunday November 22.
“We hereby state unequivocally that carrying both blank and live ammunition is part of our Table of Equipment for Internal Security Operations,” it stated.
Reacting to news items on both the Social and mainstream Media insinuating that the troops of Nigerian Army contradicted it, the statement said the troops never went against Rules of Engagement as accepted internationally.
“The attention of the Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to news items on both the Social and mainstream Media insinuating that the troops of Nigerian Army contradicted its
evidence of firing blank ammunition when it also carried live ammunition tor Internal Security Operations on the 20 October 2020,” it said
The statement further pointed out that use of any of these ammunition as stated in their
Rules of Engagement depends on the level of threat at the operational area.
“Please note that one ot the principles of internal security
operations is the use of minimum Force.
“Minimum Force in itself is
a function of the assessment of the Commander on the ground.
“In this circumstances i.e The Lekki Toll Gate, the Commander on the ground assessed that there was no need to use live ammunition that was why only blank ammunition was used at the Lekki Toll Gate.
“The blank ammunition was fired into the sky and not at the
protesters,” Army insisted.
It stressed that the results are all glaring as there was no fatality recorded this has been corroborated by both BBC report and other reputable news media outfits.
“The use of blank ammunition/minimum force achieved the aim of dispersing the hoodlums and crowd. It is pertinent to reiterate that the Nigerian Army is a law-abiding institution that acts in tandem with her Rules of Engagement.
“We therefore wish to advise all stakeholders to guard against being used by local and foreign
agents of destabilization who do not wish this country any good,” it advised.