Despite witnesses’ reports, Nigerian Army claims ‘Area boys’, not soldiers, attacked Lagos BRT buses

At least 6 BRT buses were burnt down.

The Nigerian Army has denied that its officers were responsible for the attack on BRT buses and drivers in Lagos on Friday.

Witnesses had told PREMIUM TIMES how rampaging soldiers attacked BRT buses along the Ikorodu road. The soldiers were allegedly protesting the killing of their colleague by a BRT bus driver.

PREMIUM TIMES counted at least six  burnt BRT buses and three others with damaged wind screen along the Onipanu/ Palmgrove section of the Ikorodu Expressway.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, the Nigerian Army spokesperson, Olajide Olaleye, denied that the soldiers set the bus ablaze.Soldiers destrouing BRT5

He blamed “area boys” for the mayhem.

“It’s not true that the soldiers destroyed buses or set any bus on fire. What happened was that a BRT bus knocked down a soldier and killed him. As usual in Lagos, area boys gathered and a few soldiers stopped at the scene as well. The GOC has dispatched military policemen to the scene to help restore law and order,” Mr. Olaleye said.

Meanwhile at the scene of the mayhem, PREMIUM TIMES witnessed soldiers, accompanying an OPMESA truck, with the insignia of a one star general, confiscating phones and brutalising those taking pictures of the burnt buses.

There were conflicting reports on the state of the soldier who was hit by the BRT bus while riding a motorcycle on the BRT lane reserved only for such buses.

Some witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES that the military officer died on the spot.

However according to other witnesses, the soldier was knocked down by the bus on the BRT lane but was not killed. They said he made a phone call after he was knocked down; and refused to listen to pleas from those at the scene to forgive the driver of the bus.

“The army officers who gathered there told us that the bus driver and the army officers were struggling for supremacy on the road, the driver wanted to push him away from the road and in the end, he hit him,” said Olalekan Ajayi, a witness.

The accident prompted army officers, including those from the Nigerian Army Ordinance Corps, some kilometres away, to rush to the scene.

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