The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group (NDMG), Ohio, United States, have called on the United Nation, United States, United Kingdom and other nations to withdraw their statements that appeared to taunt the Nigerian government over the Lekki tollgate shooting.
With overwhelming evidence now rubbishing supposed massacre in Lagos State, the NDMG said it is logical for the international community to apologise to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group made this known in a statement signed by its President, Erasmus Kuti on Friday.
Like the rest of the world, the NDMG admitted that it reacted with disgust over the alleged shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters by the Nigerian Army.
However, it said that sentiment changed after the actual picture of the incident surfaced.
According to the group, the peddlers of the fake news carefully “planned, selected, manipulated and curated the photographs and videos that were used to mislead key decision-makers across the globe”.
While mourning lives lost in the violence that erupted afterwards, the NDMG said all actors in the ugly saga must be held to book.
The group said the country has been the hapless victim of fake news, hence the need for nations to withdraw their earlier statements.
Read the full statement below:
The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group, Ohio Chapter – United States condemns in its totality the use of fake news by protesters to discredit the Federal Government of Nigeria and Nigerians over the so-called Lekki Massacre, which emerging evidence are now disproving.
Like other distraught people and organizations worldwide, NDMG-Ohio had expressed its outrage on the night of Tuesday, October 20, 2020, when the so-called massacre took place because it had believed that the Nigerian Army fired into the protesters. We have however found out upon further probing that we were sold a lie, especially after the Governor of Lagos state confirmed that there was no death resulting from the incident.
We had, with trepidation, expected to be confronted with images of a killing field by the dawn of the following day, but all that was available to see were the recirculated videos of soldiers shooting into the air. When pressed for further evidence, the people we contacted redirected us to photographs that turned out to be that of an actor carrying a female draped in Nigeria flag and that of another actor in the National Youth Service Corps uniform. Some of the other images turned out to be those of accidents victims that were unconnected with the shooting.
The bottom fell out for us when some of the people we have tallied as killed at the Lekki Toll Gate turned up alive and refuting news of their demise as the handiwork of evil-minded people. Furthermore, the NGO that championed the story about the removal of CCTV camera before the attack, EiE through its leader, Yemi Adamoleku has recanted and now admitted that what was removed from the Lekki Toll Plaza before the pandemonium was license plate verification cameras that the operators of the facility took away for safekeeping when they got words that the protesters had concluded to vandalize the structure the following day. Even the electricity outage that triggered the pandemonium has now been flagged as potential sabotage carried out by criminally minded people among the protesters while questions are now been asked if some people within the protest shot into the crowds since the soldiers were only seen firing into the air.
We find it appalling that the entire world was thrown into a Federal Government of Nigeria-hating hysteria because of a well-coordinated campaign of fake news. Those who ran this attack of fake news did not do it as an afterthought, but they had carefully planned, selected, manipulated and curated the photographs and videos that were used to mislead key decision-makers across the globe. They had also positioned celebrities and activists that were commissioned to trend the misleading multimedia. Unfortunately, major partners of Nigeria – United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the United Nations amongst others have announced decisions based on the lies amplified by the fake news. It is sadder still that old ethnic wounds were reopened in the aftermath of the Lekki incident, leading to an orgy of arson that targeted the property and business interests of certain persons.
Our thoughts are with families who lost loved ones and those that have sustained injuries since the #EndSARS protests began. We believe that no human life should be wrongly lost on account of any incident, not even when the person is guilty of what is erroneously called ‘capital crime’; we also fully identify with the legitimate demand for an end to police brutality and had expressed our support for same. But all actors in this ugly saga must hold those who instigated and promoted violence to account irrespective of what excuse they hide under. Side by side with addressing the demands of the protesters, authorities should hold those that engaged in arson or caused the loss of life to account in addition to punishing any errant soldier or police caught abusing people’s rights.
We, therefore, demand that the Federal Government works with the Lagos State government to unravel what transpired at Lekki Told Gate on October 20, 2020, because it was the night some criminals almost left us without a country.
NDMG-Ohio further calls on the United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, Canada and all international partners to withdraw their earlier statements that criminalize the government and people of Nigeria as there was no massacre at Lekki Toll Plaza or any other location in Nigeria. The country has rather been the hapless victim of fake news.
Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists
The report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was a “poor” hatchet job targeted at the Nigerian Army, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIIJ) has said.
In an electronic statement signed by special rapporteur, Francois Deburoiche, on Wednesday, the IIIJ said it came to this conclusion following a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the toll gate.
After forensic analysis of CNN’s report, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism noted that there were some missing details in the American television channel’s piece.
According to the institute, the report was carried out in poor taste, lacking professionalism and objectivity. It added that the claim of use of live bullets and testimonies of victims were all tales.
The institute, however, advised the television channel to retract and admit error in the documentary.
Read the full statement below:
The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is issuing this press statement with the best of intents after a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria during the EndSARS protest.
A team of investigative journalists with extensive experience in conflict situation interrogated the various claims made by the American Cable News Network in its report on the Lekki Shootings and came up with a comprehensive analysis that found gaps that were not filled in the CNN documentation of the events at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.
The CNN documentary on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria was released to the general public with lots of inaccuracies. These accuracies were detected after an extensive forensic investigation by the International Institute for Investigative Journalism.
It is thus our opinion that the report was carried out in the poor taste, lacking in professionalism and objectivity. This is a great betrayal on journalism by the CNN, which indeed violated the known tenets of journalism.
The videos and images used in the CNN report were not subjected to adequate scrutiny. Consequently, it lacked credibility for use by an organization of repute such as the CNN. This fact was also buttressed by the fact that the CNN report was very hasty in its conclusion by indicting the Nigerian Army of culpability in the events at the Lekki Tollgate.
Our position remains that the CNN erred substantially in its report that was highly misleading to the general public in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The documentary also failed woefully to highlight the events that led to the reign of violence in parts of Lagos state but instead rehashed the issues under different subheadings with minimal evidence that indicts the Nigerian Army of wrongdoing at the Lekki Tollgate.
The International Institute for Investigative Journalism concludes that the CNN documentary was prejudiced in its analysis as well as presentation which fall nothing short of a poor hatchet job with the undeniable intent to discredit the Nigerian Army operation at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.
The analysis by CNN in the documentary was hasty in its categorization with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate. The report attempted to portray the use of excessive force by soldiers, while the accompanying videos and images did not depict such.
The credibility of those interviewed in the documentary was also suspect with the choice of words and the facial and body expressions of the victims as well as their relatives. Thus much was revealed by forensic analysis as the emotions portrayed didn’t match their words.
The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is of the considered opinion that the CNN carried out a hatchet job that is targeted at the Nigerian Army institution. We as a result of this classify the CNN documentary as highly misleading and with the capacity to cause disquiet in Nigeria.
The CNN must retract and admit error in submission in its documentary on the Lekki Tollgate shootings. The International Institute for Investigative Journalism faults the CNN documentary in all ramifications.
Why Army is Boosting Land Power, Buratai Speaks at War College Lecture
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has continued to churn out highly-capable operational commanders, with a very good understanding of operational art and the requisite skills for the effective application of land power.
Buratai, was the special guest of honour at the ‘Graduation Lecture’ of Course 4/2020, in Abuja. The COAS, who had earlier commissioned the War College Office Extension Building, further said the building is made up of offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity, respectively.
According to Lt. Gen. Buratai, the War College was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. The Commandant of AWCN, Maj. Gen. SE Udounwa, expressed gratitude to the Army Chief for tirelessly supporting the College, especially in the area of infrastructural development.
The AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.
JUST IN: NLC, TUC Stage Walk Out From Meeting With FG
Labour union representatives on Sunday staged a walk-out from a meeting with the federal government, barely five minutes after it started.
According to the president of the Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, on the meeting’s top agenda were the issues surrounding the hike in the price of fuel and electricity tariffs, not issues of palliatives.
In his opening remarks before the closed-door session, Olaleye accused the federal government of dishonesty, playing to the gallery and painting the organised labour in a bad light before civil servants and the public.
Representing the Nigerian Labour Congress was its deputy president, Najeem Yasin.
“This meeting is not going to be as usual,” Olaleye told news men. “Why, because we have seen the insincerity of government and it’s putting us at risk. They are taking us for a ride, which cannot continue.
“We are in the process of discussing, for over three months now. And they made announcement increasing the fuel price again. And no other person than NNPC. When has authority been giving to NNPC to increase the price of PMS? This is unacceptable.
“The meeting agenda is not well prioritised. And because of that, we are leaving the meeting. We will not continue, we will go back to our organ, and we are going to get back to you on the next line of action.”
In attendance from the federal government were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timiprye Sylva, Minister of state for power, Goddy Agba and the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha.
“We felt that the item of increase in PMS, having been listed at all as an additional item, would have satisfied everybody,” labour minister, Ngige said after the walkout.
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