The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency has debunked allegations making the rounds in the media that it refused to come to the aid of protesters during the shooting incident at Lekki on Tuesday night.
The Director -General, LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, made the declaration during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday.
Oke-Osanyintolu said that the attention of the agency had been drawn to various allegations of their refusal to come to the aid of protesters.
The director general categorically debunked the allegation that there were no “instructions’’ not to respond to incidents.
He said, “Our personnel and vehicles have been attacked and harassed since the protest started, and we have struggled to maintain a presence while still keeping our personnel safe.
“Our emergency response lines (112/767) developed a fault early hours of Monday morning and in spite of a number of failsafe and temporary fixes, went into shutdown mode on Tuesday.
“To forestall any incident, we circulated alternative numbers including the direct line of the Director General/CEO.
“ALERT: A major electrical fault has affected the 112/767 lines. Urgent repairs are being effected.
“The Emergency Services can be reached via WhatsApp 07025004985 and voice 08060907333; 08033391151.
We regret the inconvenience.’’
Oke-Osanyintolu said its personnel were simply terrified by the angry mob that stormed the Lekki Dispatch Centre on Tuesday night.
“Even today, LASEMA responders and the other emergency responders have been unable to respond to fires due to our vehicles being attacked.”
He said that one of LASEMA paramedic interns, Morinola Omobukola, had been hit by a bullet while on duty at 4pm on Wednesday, adding that she had been taken to the Trauma Centre at the Toll Gate for treatment .
The LASEMA boss, therefore, appealed for calm and understanding while the agency attempted to play its part in keeping Lagos residents safe.
Oke-Osanyintolu, however, sympathised with all those who have lost loved ones and fully acknowledged the rights of Nigerians to peacefully protest while making their demands known.