Nigerian Defence Headquarters’ Director of Information, Maj. Gen. John Eneche has addressed a press conference on the Lekki Toll Gate shooting which many said was perpetrated by soldiers.
Commenting on report of soldiers shooting the protesters, he described it as mere allegations as some military analysts had dismissed as untrue.
Eneche who admitted that the military is involved in internal security operations codenamed ‘Operation MESA’ in nine states, however declined to disclose further details on the joint security task force. He added that Operation MESA is under the control of the state governments, and comprised the Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Defence and police personnel.
“The issue is not an operation that I can respond to, but I can tell you that it is an allegation, for now; so let us not set the cart before the horse.
“If the matter was still open-ended, I would have had a response for you but it is no longer open-ended, because immediately, not even up to five hours before midnight, the Governor of Lagos set up an inquiry. So, whatever we say now will not be fair to the commission.
“So these operations are still standing and running and I am aware that the state governments are using them in all these capacities, that is internal security.
“The level we are now is internal security and that is why the police proactively came out and then deployed all their force package that are necessary to handle that (violence).”
On absence of security operatives on the streets during the violence and widespread looting in Lagos by hoodlums, Enenche said;
“They were on the grounds; maybe, they were not visible in all places.”