Despite photo evidence, witnesses’ accounts, Nigerian Army insists hoodlums, not soldiers, destroyed Lagos BRT buses

The Nigerian Army on Thursday in Lagos insisted that its personnel were not responsible for the July 4 destruction of Lagos-owned buses after one of its men was knocked down while allegedly riding his motorcyle on a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane.

A huge crisis erupted after the Corporal, said to be a personnel of the Army Education Corps, reportedly died in the accident.

Testimonies by witnesses as well as photographs and video clip of the incident showed how soldiers stormed the scene in their numbers, vandalising BRT buses and beating up residents and journalists.

However, even before any investigation of the incident was done, the Nigerian Army blamed the destruction of the buses on hoodlums. But those who witnessed the incident insisted the Army’s claim was false and misleading. Photographic and video evidence later emerged to back that claim.

The Army has however stuck to its version of the event despite concrete evidence to the contrary.

Omale Ochaguba, a Lieutenant Colonel and spokesman of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the destruction of BRT and LAG luxury buses were not carried out by soldiers but by hoodlums.

Mr. Ochaguba said that the army would not compromise civil -military relationship in the state.

“The military has no bad relationship with civilians, we are committed to protecting the lives and properties of civilians, we are not anti civilians,’’ he said.

According to him, soldiers are meant to protect the safety of the civilians and also assist other security agents in maintaining peace in the state.

He insisted the vandalisation of the publicly-owned luxury buses were carried out by hoodlums.
“We ensure obedience to the rules and laws in the state especially in adhering to the BRT lane instruction as the soldier killed was not on the said lane,’’ he said.

He also said that the bus that hit the soldier from the back had been towed to Ikeja Cantonment while further investigations were ongoing.

Mr. Ochaguba added that the body of the late corporal had been deposited at 68 Army Reference hospital, Yaba.

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