By Henry Iheanacho
A former spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, has said soldiers deployed to the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020, fired blank bullets at the #EndSARS protesters, and not live ammunition as widely claimed.
He made the revelation during an Arise TV programme on Thursday, stating that contrary to reports claiming people were killed in the incident, the blank ammunition used is not capable of killing anyone.
Speaking on the Nigeria Army’s involvement, Usman said there was enough ground to involve the military in the protests, citing reports of violence in parts of the state as a justification.
“People have decided to denigrate the military and to turn the military as the fall guy but evidence on ground does not support that assertion,” said Usman who retired from active service in 2019.
“Yes, there was the deployment of the military; to what extent and all that, it will be determined by the commission of enquiry.
“If you look at the canisters, they were blank ammo and blank ammo don’t even kill. At a close range, maybe 100-metres, it will have some pigmentation on your skin. Let’s leave the commission of enquiry to do its job.
“But it is very dangerous for anybody to politicise security in this country. The military is a symbol of national unity and national power; they should be insulated from all these politics.
“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, but they were professional enough to have done that,” he said.