Days after shots were fired at unarmed peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos, a former Director Public Relations of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Sani Usman (rtd), has said blank ammunition was used to disperse protesters.
Usman on Thursday made an appearance on ARISE News and noted that blank ammo has little or no effect on its target.
“If you look at the canisters, they were blank ammo and blank ammo don’t even kill. At a close range,l – maybe 100-metres – maybe it will have some pigmentation on your skin,” said Usman.
He added; “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.”
Global rights group, Amnesty International had on Wednesday released a timeline of the killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the toll plaza on October 20.
The AI said its crisis response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirmed that security forces were present at the scene when the shootings occurred.
Usman, however, said Amnesty International has a long history of spuriously accusing the Nigerian military.
“There was a time when I was the director army public relations, Amnesty International accused the Nigerian military of killing over 5000 people in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
“Common sense would have told you that there was no hospital with the capacity to contain even 50 dead bodies or 100. This and many other spurious allegations have been going on against the Nigerian military by the Amnesty International,” he said.
By Abel Ejikeme