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  There is only as much protest that can go round on Lai Mohammed at the Lagos #EndSARS judiciary panel. News about the Army’s decision began to fly around on social media on Sunday, 31st January. It had been revealed earlier on Saturday that popular Lagos-based hospital, Reddington Hospital, had testified at the panel that on the sad day of the #LekkiMassacre, they received a flurry of bullet-wounded Nigerians who were being attacked at the Lekki toll gate.
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S.N. Agwhe, a member of army counsel to the panel made the development known to the Judicial Panel on Saturday. Reddington Hospital’s testimony remains paramount in the face of the denialism going on with the diverse government agencies and bodies concerned with the Lekki shootings on the fated day. It could be this inescapable evidence by Reddington that triggered the Army’s impatience and non-cooperation with the panel going forward. Another reason that seemed feasible for the Army’s withdrawal is the recent change of the Service Chiefs. The directive to leave the Lagos judicial panel may have come directly from the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff  Maj. Gen. LEO Irabor or the new Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru as they no longer want to associate with the damaging scandal. However, a more unlikely scenario to consider would be that the Force headquarters is looking at reviewing their representatives at the panel and considering changing them. It would really be strange to find that the army has decided to cooperate better with the panel, speak the truth about the Lekki massacre of 20th October 2020 and accept culpability while bringing erring officers to justice.
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The army might as well have committed long term to protect the presidency rather than be loyal to the sovereignty of Nigeria which they have sworn fealty to. Of course, the hands of the military cadre is tied as the presidency itself, led by the Minister of Culture and Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has relentlessly committed to denying that the event which was recorded live happened. The minister continues to claim that it is all fake news and that the Army never shot at the protesters “observing the curfew” at the Lekki toll gate. For government officials, even those in the Army, the first note of caution would be to not counter the position of the presidency publicly. Yet, there are no two ways to the truth that needs to be revealed about the massacre that happened on the night of 20th October. Notwithstanding, the position that the Army should always protect Nigerian citizens is what the people expect of any sane Armed Forces tasked with the role of protecting Nigerians from security threats. To be dependable and trustworthy. That the Army have reneged and refrained so far from such expectations is disappointing. This is the least of things expected of them to regain that trust which Nigerian citizens ever had of soldiers. And perhaps, this recent change in the military ranks will achieve that goal. Source: Arise TV Featured Image Source: Premium Times NG
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This article was first published on 5th February 2021


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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