By Mukwuzi Joseph
The Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, says the Nigerian Army was unhappy that the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, denied inviting the military on October 20, 2020, when soldiers shot at the Lekki tollgate where #EndSARS protesters were gathered.
Taiwo said this on Saturday in his testimony before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the Lekki incident.
The general, however, said inviting the military was the best decision the Lagos governor could have taken as the #EndSARS protest plunged the state into anarchy but added that the Army was also unhappy that Sanwo-Olu said two persons died from the military engagement at the Lekki tollgate.
He said, “I spoke with Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu that the Nigerian Army was not happy with him for denying that he invited the us to restore normalcy in the state. That afternoon he had called the Chief of Army staff, General Tukur Buratai and the GOC after asking the commander 9 brigade to intervene.
The commander of the 9 brigade couldn’t intervene because proper procedure was not followed. He asked him to call the Chief of Army staff and the GOC. It will surprise you to know that the Governor did not have the phone number of the GOC neither did the GOC has his number. So it was when the GOC was on assignment in Abuja and after the sitting, he saw some numbers of missed calls from a number and when he called back, it was Governor Sanwo-olu. They were able to speak at some point but he had called the Chief of Army staff following which 81 division of the Nigerian Army was ordered into phase four of internal security. The call was in the afternoon before 4pm.
it would be recalled that the Lagos state Governor has consistently denied inviting the military to Lekki tollgate on October 20, adding that forces beyond his control were responsible for the Lekki incident.
But the Army Headquarters subsequently said in a statement that the Lagos State government invited the soldiers to the protest ground and that the soldiers acted within the rules of engagement.