#EndSARS Killings: FG Demands Apology From CNN, AI for Misleading Narratives

Police clamp down on protesters at the Abuja demonstration. Credit: Abimbola Oluwakayode: Instagram; tistagreat Twitter; Tistagreat

THE Nigerian government on Wednesday demanded for apologies from Amnesty International (AI), Cable News Network (CNN) and DJ Switch for misleading the world that there was a massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji  Lai Mohammed, while addressing newsmen in Abuja on the first anniversary of the Lekki Toll Gate #EndSARS episode, demanded for unreserved apologies for portraying the Nigerian military, police and other security agencies in bad light, reiterating that contrary to the claims by the trio, the military did not shoot at protesters.

CNN acted unprofessionally by relying on unverified, and possibly-doctored social media videos, as well as other open-source information to conclude that a massacre took place at the toll gate. On its part, CNN went from 38 people killed to two to just one, after a supposed global exclusive even when the network had no reporter on ground at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

“On Monday, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry that was set up by the Lagos State Government after the EndSARS protest wrapped up its sitting. During the sitting, CNN was summoned but it never showed up, thus missing a great opportunity to prove its allegation of massacre at the toll gate.

“In its latest attempt to grasp at straws and redeem whatever is left of its battered credibility on this issue, CNN has continued with its baseless report that soldiers shot at protesters,” the minister said, as he condemned a current report running on the CNN on the purported massacre contending that it acted unprofessionally.

CNN brazenly and unashamedly held on to its flawed narrative, relying on an unidentified mother whose son was reportedly shot dead at Lekki, but without convincing evidence of who shot him dead.

“The same CNN that tweeted on October 23, 2020 that 38 people were shot dead at Lekki is now struggling to convince the world that one boy was killed at Lekki. What a shame,” he said, stressing that the federal government remained proud of the security agencies for acting professionally and showing restraint all through the #EndSARS protests and the ensuing violence.

The minister said it was the professionalism and restraint of the security agencies that saved lives and property of many.

“The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the #EndSARS protests are human beings with families even though the human rights organisations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre,” he said.

According to him, Amnesty International also had a golden opportunity to convince the world when it was also summoned to appear before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry by Lagos State, but it rather opted for issuing “meaningless press releases.”

Feature image credit: Abimbola Oluwakayode: Instagram; tistagreat Twitter; Tistagreat


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