…says report of killing by soldiers fake
The Coalition of Civil Society For Human Rights and Good Governance Africa, has condemned in its entirety a report by the Cable News Network (CNN) alleging massacre of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos, on October 20, 2020.
In a strongly-worded statement, Friday, the Coalition described the report as fake, repulsive and a concocted piece of deliberate falsehood by an otherwise reputable international cable network.
The Group, in a statement jointly signed by Prof Bankole Amuda, Prof Uzodima Anakwe, Balarabe Hassan Ningi and Barr (Mrs) Grace Osaze, corroborated the position of the Nigerian Army to the effect that, no protester was killed on the said day, as only blank ammunition was used by soldiers to restore normalcy.
While warning CNN and its co-travellers against deliberate attempts to undermine Nigeria’s sovereignty, the rights and good governance, the organisation called on the Federal Government to remain firm and apply the full wieght of the law against local and foreign saboteurs.
Specifically, the coalition took exceptions to the fact that CNN placed heavy reliance on the same videos that have since been confirmed to be fake, to arrive at its jaundiced and premeditated outcome.
Wondering what was the motive behind the report, the CSO expressed confidence that Nigerians of good conscience will see the report for what it is: fake news.
It has, however, applauded the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for the way and manner he conveyed the position of the Federal Government, at a world press conference in Abuja, Thursday.
“We condemn the CNN and all their evil collaborators for the fake report of alleged massacre at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020, as nothing can be further from the truth.
“We are of the firm view that the CNN only relied on fake videos posted on the internet by enemies of the state, to draw conclusion of a massacre, that only exists, or existed in their fertile mind and that of its collaborators – local and international.
“We recognise the right of CNN to carry out exclusive investigative activities around the world, in a bid to expose corruption, human rights violation and other ills perpetrated by govetnments or groups/individuals, as the case may be.
“In the face of this, however, we hasten to warn against attempts to package falsehood in the guise of truth, to satisfy pre-conceived agenda to destroy Nigeria.”
The statement continued: “As a responsible group, we have been following proceedings at the Lagos State Judicial Commission of Inquiry, and we can say authoritatively, that no family has yet to come forward with evidence of the death their of loved ones.
“We are, therefore, at a loss as to CNN’s obsession with ‘massacre’, even when respectable authorities like the military etc, have come out to say the contrary.
“We maintain that the Nigerian Army, and the Military, remains one of the best in global equation, with professionally trained personnel, who do not compromise the rules of engagement in whatever operations they embark on.
“We understand that massacre, a very heinous crime, involves the deliberate killing of many people at a given time.
“Against that gory description, we wonder how soldiers, who are Nigerians with families across the country, will set out to ‘slaughter’ its fellow brothers and sisters.
“In the fullness of time, all individuals and groups seeking to undermine the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will be exposed, and we pray that posterity will not let them go without accounting for their deeds.
“Lastly, we are comforted by the fact that, no matter how far falsehood travels, it is eventually caught up with, and overtaken by truth.”