The Lagos Observers Group (LOG) says Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, must apologise to the Nigerian Army for misleading the general public on the EndSARS protests.
The group said this has become paramount after reviewing circumstances that led to the escalation of violence in the state during the protest while analysing the Army’s testimony as well as other critical stakeholders before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.
In a communique co-signed by Folarin John Odusote and Dr Boboye Olarewaju, its chairman and secretary respectively, on Monday, the LOG said the Army’s testament was factual to support their position that the EndSARS campaign was not a reflection of the reality on the ground.
The group noted that indeed Governor Sanwo-Olu called for reinforcement from the Army when it was apparent that the Police has been overwhelmed.
It also said that the soldiers deployed to the Lekki Tollgate were pelted with stones and other items upon arrival but did not have live bullets.
At the end of its extraordinary general meeting, the group, however, said the allegations
levelled against the Army are “fictitious and meant to disparage the timely intervention of the troops”.
According to the Lagos Observers Group, there is overwhelming evidence that indeed the Nigerian Army was invited by the Governor of Lagos State.
The group called on Sanwo-Olu to tender an apology to the troops or resign honourably.
Read full communique below:
The Lagos Observers a pan-Nigerian group with membership cutting across all ethnic nationalities, religious groups and professional bodies convoked an extraordinary general meeting to deliberate on the recent revelations made by the Nigerian Army at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.
The Lagos Observers Group in the attempt to put issues in proper perspectives given the enormity of the task at hand in unraveling the circumstances that led to the escalation of violence in the state during the EndSARS protest reviewed the testimony by the Nigerian Army and other critical stakeholders before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.
Members of the Lagos Observers Group deliberated on the facts presented by the Nigerian Army with regards to the following:
The use of live bullets
Who invited the Nigerian Army
How many people died and what led to the death
Was there a case of provocation
The Lagos Observers group indeed noted that the testimony by the Nigerian Army was backed by facts and evidence to support their position which is an indication that the bulk of the information on the EndSARS campaign was not a reflection of the reality on the ground.
Our members took the time to scrutinize the various testimonies by other concerned parties involved in the EndSARS protest to identify the number of casualties as a result of the intervention of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Tollgate.
The members of the Lagos Observers group after extensive deliberations and fact checks indeed identified that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu called for reinforcement from the Nigerian Army when it was apparent that the Nigerian Police has been overwhelmed and things were about to get out of control.
It was also discovered that the soldiers deployed to the Lekki Tollgate were pelted with stones and other items upon arrival in an already tensed atmosphere susceptible to the crisis of immeasurable proportion in the Lekki-Ikoyi axis.
The soldiers deployed at the Lekki Tollgate did not have live bullets as widely claimed and reported by a large segment of the population. What was used were blank ammunitions usually deployed in quelling riots.
It was also discovered that soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate fired into the air to disperse the already riotous crowd and not into the crowd as erroneously stated in different quarters. This fact is buttressed with the fact that the only death recorded at the Lekki Tollgate was not as a result of gunshot injuries.
It was also discovered that even in the face of provocation, the soldiers remained calm and within their mandate of dispersing the crowd with the use of minimal force. This much was seen in the various video recordings scrutinized.
The Lagos Observers group at the end of its extraordinary general meeting herby makes the following conclusions:
That the allegations levelled against the Nigerian Army are indeed fictitious and meant to disparage the timely intervention of the Nigerian Army in the restoration of law and order in Lagos state.
This is on the heels that despite the denial of the Lagos State Governor with regards to the invitation extended to the Nigerian Army to intervene to restore law and order, there has been an avalanche of evidence that indicates that indeed the Nigerian Army was invited by the Governor of Lagos State.
The Lagos Observers Group as a consequent of the recent revelations that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu indeed invited the Nigerian Army, we are recommending the following:
That the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu should tender an unreserved apology to the Nigerian Army for misleading the general public with regards to the intervention of the Nigerian Army during the EndSARS protests.
That the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu should in future take ownership of his actions as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Security Officer of the state.
That if the Governor fails to tender an unreserved apology, he should tow the honourable path of resignation as he would no longer be fit to occupy the position of Governor of Lagos State.
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.
More to come…
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