Soldiers Fired Blank Bullets Not Live Ammunition At Lekki Protesters, Ex-Army Spokesman Claims

A former spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, says soldiers only fired blank bullets at #EndSARS protesters in Lekki, not live ammunition as reported.

He made the claim on Thursday during a programme on Arise Television.

Usman said contrary to the social media posts that many protesters were killed in the incident, the blank ammunition used was not capable of killing anyone.

He said there were enough reasons for the involvement and invitation of the military in the protest, citing reports of violence in parts of the state as a justification.

He accused the Amnesty International of politicising the issue and lying against the military.

“If you look at the canisters, they were blank ammo, and blank ammo doesn’t even kill,” he said. “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.”

He added that the military should be commended for avoiding “serious collateral damage” during the shooting.

The Amnesty International had called on Nigerian authorities to stop attempts to cover up the Lekki toll gate massacre. 

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