The Federal Government has demanded an apology from global human rights group, Amnesty International, CNN and DJ Switch for their role in the misleading of the world that there was a massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, during the nationwide #EndSARS protest.
The government has come down hard on them for continuously insisting on their unproven stand with respect to the incident that occurred at the Lekki tollgate, which was regarded as the epicentre of the #EndSARS protest.
According to NAN, the demand was made known by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, during a press conference, where he said the trio should tender unreserved apology for portraying the Nigerian military, police and other security agencies in bad light.
What the Minister of Information and Culture is saying
The minister insisted that contrary to the claims by CNN, Amnesty International and the disc jockey, the military did not shoot at protesters.
Mohammed who described what happened that night as phantom massacre, said that those who have been promoting the massacre narrative, have been doing so without evidence that lives were lost that night.
Mohammed said, “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, who said Amnesty International refused to make use of golden opportunity to convince the world, but it rather chose to issue meaningless press releases, also condemned a current report running on the CNN network on the purported massacre contending that the international news platform acted unprofessionally.
He said, “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 Oct. 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 the Federal Government remained proud of the security agencies for acting professionally and showing restraint all through the EndSARS protests and the ensuing violence, which helped to save lives and property of many.
What you should know
It can be recalled that on October 20, 2020, some #EndSARS protesters, who were protesting against police brutality and other human rights abuses, were reportedly shot at by the Nigerian army at the Lekki Tollgate with some alleged fatalities and various forms of injury, although the army denied shooting at the protesters.
A judicial panel was, however, set up by the Lagos State Government to look at all reported cases of police brutality so as to ensure justice for the victims and also to look at the Lekki shooting incident and unravel the circumstance that surrounds it.
The Federal Government accused CNN of not honouring the summons of the panel to prove its allegation of a massacre at the Lekki tollgate.