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ENDSARS

FG petitions CNN over investigative report on Lekki shooting, threatens action

The Federal Government has petitioned CNN over its alleged bias report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting.

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The Federal Government has written a petition to the US-based Cable News Network (CNN), demanding an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting, to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.

The government berated CNN for its investigative report on the #EndSARS protest in Lekki area of Lagos, pointing out that the media outfit breached the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness.

In the petition written by the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications) in CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia; the government said that if the international media organization does not carry out its demand, it will take any action within its laws to prevent CNN from making the #EndSARS crisis worse.

According to a report from Punch, the government’s letter dated November 23, 2020, is titled “Re: How a bloody night of bullets quashed a young protest movement”.

The letter reads: “Our attention has been drawn to an ‘investigation’ by CNN, entitled ‘How a Bloody Night of Bullets Quashed a Young Protest Movement’ and aired on 18 Nov. 2020, in which the international news organization said it uncovered that Nigerian security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria, during the #EndSARS protest.”

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“We write to put on record that the report did not just fall short of journalistic standards, it reinforces the disinformation that is going around on the issue. It is blatantly irresponsible and it is a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization.

“In the first instance, the report did not live up to the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness. According to the website www.ethics.journalists.org, balance and fairness are classic buzzwords of journalism ethics: In objective journalism, stories must be balanced in the sense of attempting to present all sides of a story. Fairness means that a journalist should strive for accuracy and truth in reporting, and not slant a story that makes a reader draw the reporter’s desired conclusion.”

What you should know

It can be recalled that CNN in its investigative report broadcasted on November 18, disclosed that the Nigerian army allegedly fired live ammunition directly at unarmed protesters, who peacefully assembled at the Lekki Tollgate during the #EndSARS protests. While confirming some deaths, CNN said it spoke with over 100 protesters and family members, but didn’t speak to any government official.

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In response to the Federal Government’s criticism of the report, which it described as a blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work, CNN insisted that it was standing by its report.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. OHANAKA D. N

    November 25, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Is it that Lai Mohammed is unaware that army opened fire and killed protesters?
    So many things are wrong with this country and especially with those in government.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS Aftermath: World Bank supports Cross River with relief materials

Cross Rivers State has announced that it has received relief materials from the World Bank.

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Cross River State eyes AFREXIM's $500 million funds

The World Bank has supported the Cross Rivers State with relief materials to cushion the effects on the destruction of properties in the state during the infamous #EndSARS protests which rocked the state and country simultaneously.

The disclosure was made by the State Commissioner for International Development Cooperation (MIDC), Dr Inyang Asibong as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.

The support became necessary given the material destruction recorded in some parts of the state. Dr. Asibong stated that the state government through his Ministry had approached the World Bank to seek support, especially in the delivery units of the World Bank Assisted Programme COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES).

According to Dr. Asibong, two parastatals were severely affected in the state during the protests, namely; FADAMA and Enterprise Development Funding (EDF), with most of the items in the aforementioned agencies looted and vandalized by hoodlums.

In lieu of this, the support from World Bank will be pivotal to re-engineering and preparing members of staff to return to work, in preparation of the Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES).

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What you should know

  • Some of the items donated include furniture, 20-seater conference chairs, air conditioners and inverters, laptop computers and printers, virtual meeting equipment, hybrid inverter with solar among others.
  • The platforms that will benefit from the equipment include; CSDA, the state coordinating unit, FADAMA, EDF, Smart City, Public Work Fare and the state Cash Transfer Unit.

What they are saying: Dr. Asibong said: “We know that the poverty index in Nigeria is 40.1 per cent and this is really high. Cross River is lower than the national average, 36.3 per cent, we want to further reduce that our percentage to at least a single digit.

“I want to thank the World Bank for coming to our aid at this point in time and we can assure them we will make the best use of these equipment.”

Commenting on the CARES initiative which the relief material is believed to facilitate, Dr. Asibong said, “The CARES is COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus of the government. It is going to be a state-owned project and Gov. Ben Ayade is so committed about improving the lives of residents in the state.”

On the other hand, the Acting General Manager of Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), Mr Fidel Udie remarked that the donation confirmed the good working relationship between the state government and the World Bank.

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Mr Udie stated that the donation would put the state in a good position to participate in the CARES programme. He said: ‘’This programme is basically meant to target the poor and vulnerable in the society. Gov. Ayade was able to follow up with the World Bank and here we have these equipment to help the delivery units to be ready for this programme.’’

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ENDSARS

Nigeria is committed to security, fulfilling demands of #EndSARS youths in 2021 – Buhari

FG is committed to fulfilling the five demands of #EndSARS youths.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has announced that his administration is committed to fulfilling the five demands of #EndSARS youths.

The President disclosed this in his New Year speech on Friday morning.

“Nigeria is a country on a difficult journey to nationhood and greatness. We are standing tall in the committee of nations as one country united under the will of God,” he said.

READ: We will pass PIB, Electoral Act before end of 2021- Senate President

He added that the past year had posed challenges, from security to economic issues, citing the #EndSARS protests which he said, “were mainly led by youths and served notice to the demand of police reforms and accountability.”

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Buhari added that the FG was committed to fulfilling the demands of the protesters with renewed determination in 2021.

“This government heard, listened and committed to fulfilling the 5 demands of our youths fully understanding that we all wish well for Nigeria.

READ: The “EndSARS” protests and the problem of police reform in Nigeria

“In the midst of all these challenges, I initially pledged, that as your elected President, I would ensure that these ongoing challenges would be faced head on with renewed determination.

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“Your voices have been heard, and we would continue to listen to you and all stakeholders who are committed to the unity of Nigeria to ensure that every region is safe for us all, while guaranteeing the future is also secure for the coming generations.”

Buhari said that Nigeria needed to secure the future of its youths, exhorting young Nigerians as global achievers.

READ: Unemployment rate: Worse days ahead if economic policies don’t improve – TUC

“I wish to also reaffirm my commitment to the people of Nigeria, especially the youth, who need our collective encouragement, and support, in securing this nation, we need to secure the future of our youth.

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“Our young people, are the most valuable natural resource; their ingenuity, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is evident to all.

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“Many of our young people are excelling in various areas of life including sport, entertainment and ICT, commerce and are globally recognized as achievers.”

READ: Laliga clubs set for financial setback as government orders termination of betting sponsorships

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Buhari said that the FG’s engagement with young Nigerians would turn their passion into ideas, from tech to entertainment.

“As government, we are committed to actively engaging with the creative energies of our young people. We will partner with legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passion into ideas that can be supported, groomed, and scaled across regions.

READ: President Buhari directs NASENI to deploy refurbished tractors to farmers

“This will create vast opportunities in fintech, agriculture, business process, startups and the entertainment industry,” he added.

Buhari said his administration would focus on delivering key strategic priorities under the areas of security, economy, and the anti-corruption agenda.

READ: Nigeria’s forex devaluation timeline – 2020

On security

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The President said, “We would direct our attention and strength to reenergizing, reorganizing the security personnel of the armed forces and polices…to enhance capacity to engage, pushback and dismantle the operations of extremists and criminal groups.”

Buhari said insecurity was a challenge, with  direct repercussions on nation economic sustainability, growth and development. He revealed that in parts of Nigeria where chronic poverty, social exclusion were already problems, Boko Haram had thwarted efforts of the FG to undertake social policy that could make a huge difference in the quality of life of citizens.

READ: Senate passes N13.5 trillion 2021 budget

“We recognize that we have to move to a more proactive stance, to ensure that this sort of traumatic incident, does not become a norm.

“The administration is fully aware of the responsibility to protect the lives and properties of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to threats to national security.”

On anti-corruption

President Buhari stated that the nation had recorded gains and would be looking at reviewing laws to ensure a smooth prosecution process.

“On anti-corruption, we have recorded gains so far, and are committed to continuing on eradicating corruption through collaboration with all the arms of government to effectively prosecute this fight. We will also be looking at reviewing laws to ensure the fight to be more effective.”

On Covid-19 Vaccines

The President said that the FG was finalizing plans to procure and distribute vaccines effectively, but urged Nigerians to maintain social distance protocols.

“I urge you all to observe strict Covid-19 prevention protocols. My pledge to you is same as it has always been. I will play my part without fear; I invite all of us to do same. It is what we owe to the founding generations and also to the coming generation.”

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Kwara Govt awards N181 million grant to business owners whose assets were looted

Governor Abdulrazaq has bailed out business owners whose businesses were destroyed during the #EndSARS protest.

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#EndSARS: Kwara Govt awards N181 million grant to business owners whose assets were looted

The Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has awarded a total grant of N180,775,000 to business owners whose wares and assets were looted by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest.

This was revealed by the Governor in a press statement issued after the presentation of the grant to the affected business owners yesterday.

READ: Six Nigerians convicted in UAE for funding Boko Haram in 2019

Governor Abdulrahman explained that the total N180,775,000 grant awarded to the business owners was based on the recommendations of the independent adjuster/committee that was set up to assess the damage and propose interventions.

The Governor said:

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  • “We do not have the capacity to give them everything they have lost but the grants given are our token of support to encourage them not to give up.”

READ: #EndSARS: Popular hacking group, Anonymous allegedly hacks Nigerian Govt. websites

He explained that the Government cannot do everything, but emphasized the fact that Business owners are key in the current administration’s goal of evolving Kwara from a civil service state to an enterprising one.

In this vein, he disclosed that the current administration in Kwara State is always willing to help businesses of all sizes to thrive and will continue to support petty traders with micro-loans (Yoruba: Owo Isowo), as well as SMEs to make sure they continue to grow and create more jobs.

READ: Nigerian Governors who have tested positive for Coronavirus 

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Why this matters

The grant, however, will enable affected business owners to come out of the disruption caused to their businesses by the disheartening attacks, vandalism and looting by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest which spiked civil unrest across the country.

The fund will help to prevent the closure of key businesses in the state, and get them back on their feet towards the path of growth and sustainable expansion.

READ: #EndSARS: Presidency to ensure that a repeat of protests does not happen

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