Thursday, December 9, 2021

#EndSARS: CNN, Amnesty, DJ Switch should apologise to Buhari regime, Lai Mohammed demands

The Buhari regime has laboured much to deny culpability in the shooting of unarmed protesters by the Nigerian military on the night of October 20, 2020.

• October 20, 2021
Lai and DJ Switch
A composite of Lai Mohammed and DJ Switch used to illustrate the story

The Buhari regime has demanded an apology from Amnesty International, CNN and DJ Switch for allegedly misleading the world that there was a massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

DJ Switch whose given name is Obianuju Udeh is a Nigerian disc jockey who is on exile over the 2020 EndSARS protest and the Lekki toll gate incidence.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the trio should tender an unreserved apology for portraying the Nigerian military, police and other security agencies in a bad light.

Addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja on the first anniversary of the Lekki toll gate incidence, the minister reiterated that contrary to the claims by CNN, Amnesty International and the disc jockey, the military did not shoot at protesters.

Amnesty International
Amnesty International

“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 a 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,” he said.

The minister said Amnesty International also had a golden opportunity to convince the world, but it rather opted for issuing “meaningless press releases.”

Mr Mohammed condemned a current report running on the CNN network on the purported massacre contending that the international news platform acted unprofessionally.

CNN [Photo: Getty Images]

“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 stated.

He said 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 the 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.

The Buhari regime has laboured much to deny culpability in the shooting of unarmed protesters by the Nigerian military on the night of October 20, 2020. After initially denying soldiers’ presence at the scene, the government later admitted that security agents fired at protesters but maintained that only blank ammunition were fired.

Mr Mohammed had continually claimed there were no casualties on the night despite reports of casualties by Peoples Gazette and other media organisations and witnesses.

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