‘How #EndSARS Protests Claimed 6 Soldiers, 37 Policemen’
The Federal Government has expressed satisfaction with the roles played by the military, police, and other security agencies during the #EndSARS protests.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this at a televised press conference in Abuja last Thursday.
He lamented that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed during the “#EndSARS crisis”, claiming that soldiers killed no protester at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on October 20.
The Minister also said reports indicating that protesters were killed relied on unverified facts from social media adding that soldiers and policemen “deserve commendation not condemnation” unless people would say “their lives do not matter”.
He said, “We insist that the military did not shoot at the protesters at Lekki. They fired blank ammunition into the air. Anyone who knows anyone who was killed at Lekki toll gate should go straight to the judicial panel with evidence.
“At this point, it is important to say that the Federal Government is very satisfied with roles played by the security agencies, especially the military, and the police all through the EndSARS crisis. They were professional. Even when their lives were at stake, they exercised uncommon restraints. Their professionalism saved many lives and properties.”
The minister alleged that CNN relied on social media video without verification to produce its report.
“Like everyone else, I watched the CNN report. I must tell you that it reinforces the disinformation that is going round, and it is blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization.
“CNN engaged in incredible sensationalism and did a great disservice to itself and to journalism. In the first instance, CNN, which touted its report as an exclusive investigative report, sadly relied on the same videos that have been circulating on social media, without verification.
“This is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that. CNN merely said the videos were ”obtained by CNN”, without saying wherefrom and whether or not it authenticated them. The BBC even did a report on this, and we recommend that report to CNN. Talking about the BBC, a reporter with the BBC’s Pidgin Service, Damilola Banjo, was at Lekki Toll Gate protest ground that night.
”She was quoted as saying soldiers were indeed at the Toll Gate but they shot ”sporadically into the air” and not at the protesters. CNN that was not at the scene reported otherwise. In its jaundiced reporting, CNN was blind to the fact that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed in unprovoked attacks. Obviously, CNN did not consider the security agents human enough,” he said.