In respond to CNN investigative report on lekki shooting, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has insisted that the Nigerian Army acted professionally and kept to the rules of engagement in the handling the #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on October 20, 2020.
Speaking on the EndSARS issue when he received members of the House of Representatives committee on Army at Army headquarters on Wednesday, Buratai said, “let me assure you and all Nigerians that the Nigerian Army is a professional Army. We follow our rules of engagement. Nigerians should feel safe.
“We abide by rules of engagement and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
While speaking on the issue of kidnapping and banditry along Abuja– Kaduna Road, Buratai said, “The issues of kidnapping and bandits attacks are being taken care of.”
He noted that the Nigerian Air Force and the Army are doing a lot in this regard.
Towards boosting the capability of the Army to subsequently rise up to the challenges of insecurity in the country, Buratai disclosed that the Nigerian Army Aviation is being reactivated pointing out that the Helicopter project is at the ‘heart of our plans’.
“In this regard, we have acquired two helicopters from the Transmission Company of Nigeria. We have added them to our platform and they will be rehabilitated and used for research”.
He said there was need for a Special Intervention Fund from the government for procurement of more equipment, training and provision of accommodation and other infrastructure in military barracks.
“Even though the budget has been made, there may be requirement for virement of funds because of shortage of funds needed for procurement of hardware especially to tackle the challenges in the North-East and North-West,” he said.
Earlier, Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Army, Hon Abdulrasaq Namdas disclosed that they were at the Army headquarters to brief the COAS about their observations during their oversight visit to military formations across the country.
He disclosed that during the visit, the committee witnessed tremendous improvements in terms of infrastructure, repair of accommodation, provision of water and roads in many army units and formations adding that they were allowed unfettered access to units as ordered by Lt. Gen. Buratai.
CNN in their report on Wednesday alleged that bullets fired at Lekki toll gate are from live ammunition and was manufactured in Serbia in 2005, and is currently in use by the Nigerian army.
The media house shared footage of what appears to be soldiers shooting at the #EndSARS protesters who had gathered at the tollgate to press home their demands to end SARS as well as end police brutality.
In its investigation, they spoke with a man, Elisha Sunday, whose brother, Victor, was alleged to have been killed during the October 20th shooting incident.