Thursday, December 2, 2021

EndSARS: How local media allowed CNN, others distort facts: Lai Mohammed

The minister said local media organisations were not living up to their billing.

• December 5, 2020
Lai Mohammed
Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed (Photo Credit: Twitter)

The Federal Government on Saturday challenged the media to take the lead in telling the Nigerian story to forestall recurring distortions by their foreign counterparts.

Information and Culture minister Lai Mohammed, gave the charge at the inauguration of a local radio station ‘Ogo Ilu’ FM station in Oko, near Ogbomoso, Oyo State.

“A situation in which foreign broadcast stations arrogate to themselves the power to tell our own story gives room for distortion of facts.

“This is the type we saw recently when CNN reported that 38 people were killed at the Lekki Toll Gate during the EndSARS crisis, only to backtrack after 35 days of what it called exclusive investigation.

“Had the local broadcast media lived up to their billing, CNN would have relied on them for news about EndSARS in particular and other happenings in Nigeria, in general.

“We would have been saved from the one-sided, unfair, unbalanced and jaundiced narrative that CNN foisted on the world under the guise of exclusive investigation.

“A situation in which the local media will rely and quote a foreign broadcast media, for an event that happened in Nigeria, is an anomaly. It has to stop,” the minister said.

The minister admonished the media not to cede their authority foreign media and social media, which has no time for the rigours of gate-keeping or fact checking.

He said the media should help in informing the people about the various projects of government and their impact on the people.

According to the minister, the FM station being commissioned is a trailblazer, being the first radio station built as community project in the country.

The DG of FRCN, Mansur Liman, said the birth of the FM station into the Radio Nigeria family was significant, and came with multiple benefits to the immediate community, the local government area, the state and the country in general.

He thanked the minister and the Hon. Olusegun Odebunmi, the facilitator of the project for their commitment to the success of the project.

Mr. Liman disclosed that Mr. Odebunmi single handedly conceived the idea of the FM station as his own constituency project and provided the land it was built on at no cost to the federal government.

He said the lawmaker sourced for the money and made sure the fund was released by the Ministry of Finance and remained vigilant to make sure that the project was completed.

“With this project you have left an indelible footprint, you have brought Federal Government presence and indeed democratic dividends close to your people,” he said.

Mr. Liman said the FM station belongs to the community and the people should guard and protect it and all other government assets jealously.

On his part, Mr. Odebunmi said the project signified selfless service and his own contribution to the development of his people.

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