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CNN Report On Lekki: Professionals In Diaspora Identify 9 Errors, Discredit Same As Organised Falsehood Against Nigeria

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The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe (ANPE) has knocked Cable News Network (CNN) over its report on the Lekki shooting, describing it as an organised falsehood against Nigeria.

In a communique released at the end of an emergency general meeting, ANPE said it discovered that CNN’s report was not only misleading but riddled with no fewer than nine errors.

The ANPE said it came to this conclusion after analysing the report as well as the testimonies of stakeholders at the ongoing Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution.

Among others, in the communique signed by President, Dr Agwu Onyeke alongside 13 others and made available to newsmen on Sunday,  ANPE said the CNN’s report was hurriedly put in place and relied on information that was gleaned from the social media space.

The group, however, advised the American news channel to desist from acts and actions that would set the country on fire.

Read full communique below:

Introduction:

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe is the umbrella body of Nigerians from all walks of life that have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour in different countries in Europe. The association has over the years made significant contributions to the overall wellbeing of Nigeria through policy interventions in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy. This much has been highlighted in press conferences, seminars and policy papers that have been impactful in the developmental agenda of Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe in fulfilment of its mandate of contributing to the socio-economic development of Nigeria reviewed the events in Nigeria with regards to the EndSars protests that rocked the country as well as the recent report by the Cable News Network at an emergency general meeting to put issues in proper perspectives.

The Deliberations:

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe convoked an online extraordinary general meeting with all members in attendance from countries in Europe. Members were divided into subcommittees on a country by country basis to review the report by the CNN and consequently mandated to give independent reviews to have a balanced judgment.

Members reviewed the report by the CNN on the EndSars protests as well as the testimonies of other stakeholders at the ongoing Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution. Members thoroughly screened videos and images under various conditions to elicit an objective assessment of the issues at hand with regards to the factors responsible for the escalation of violence during the EndSars protests in Lagos state and other parts of the country.

Members were also mandated to ensure a balanced assessment of issues devoid of ethnic and religious sentiments in fulfilment of the overarching objective of putting issues in proper perspectives.

Findings:

Members of the various sub-committees were tasked to make presentations on their findings at the plenary which was coordinated by the secretariat of the Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe.

All the presentations by the sub-committees were subjected to multi-layers of scrutiny to ensure that findings would stand the test of time and the actual position of the involvement of the Nigerian Army at the EndSARS protests.  Consequently, the following were identified:

That the report by the CNN was hurriedly put in place and lacked every form of objectivity as what was posited was already in the public domain.

That the CNN relied on information that was gleaned from the social media space without recourse to subjecting such information to scrutiny before going public.

That the CNN report on the EndSARS protest is indeed malicious and betrayed good conscience, fairness and accountability to the public good.

That the CNN erred substantially by relying on interviews from a segment of the population that might have been compromised by some interest in what transpired at the Lekki Tollgate incident.

That the CNN joined the fray when issues have been adequately addressed by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of inquiry and Restitution.

That the CNN report negates every form of objectivity and intended to give a dog a bad name to hang it.

That the videos and images used in the illustration by the CNN were not from competent sources but rather from what has been in circulation in Nigeria over several weeks.

That the CNN attempted to change the narrative to downplay the efforts of the Nigerian Army in the restoration of law and order after the city police got overwhelmed.

That the CNN did not conduct due diligence on its sources of information as well as the credibility of some of the actors interviewed in light of the era of fake news.

Conclusion:

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe as a result of the above concludes that the report by the CNN does not reflect the actual position of things with regards to the involvement of the Nigerian Army in the EndSARS protest.

It also failed to explore all necessary avenues in concluding that soldiers used live bullets at the Lekki Tollgate. It merely relied on conjectures and anecdotes that suit the narrative of its editors rather than address the issues at hand.

It is thus our considered opinion that the CNN report is an aggregation of outright insinuations and illogical conclusions.

Recommendations:

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe herby make the following recommendations: That the CNN must retract its news story on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria for lacking in objectivity and meant to further heat the polity rather than address the issues on the ground with regards to the involvement of the Nigerian Army in the EndSARS protest.

The CNN must be advised to desist from acts and actions that would set the country on fire.

That the CNN should moving forward subject its analysis to several layers of scrutiny before making the same available to the general public.

The Association of Nigerian professionals in Europe wishes to use this medium to call on the promoters of the CNN to desist from acts that would set Nigeria on fire. It must also be circumspect in its analysis on issues it has limited knowledge on.

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Bandits Lay Siege To Armed Forces Command And Staff College, Jaji

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Some criminals, suspected to be bandits, are currently laying siege around the premises of Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) located in Jaji, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Their mission, according to some locals in the community who spoke to our correspondent during a telephone conversation, was to abduct some staff of the college and the communities around the area.

This is coming in less than two months after bandits stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Mando, also in Kaduna and kidnapped no fewer than 39 students.

AFCSC is a training facility for the Nigerian Armed Forces, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy.

A resident of the area, who simply identified himself as Adamu, told Daily Trust via telephone that the bandits have always surrounded the institution while terrorising the communities around the college.

“It is only Allah that has been saving us. They (bandits) have always rustled cows in our communities. Military operatives do engage them in gun battle anytime they come around, that is why we don’t have major casualties yet,” Adamu said.

The Commandant of the college, Air Marshal Olayinka Alade, confirmed this on Wednesday in Abuja when he visited the Army Headquarters to brief Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, on the development and other issues in the institution.

Alade said the institution has decided to launch impromptu searching and clearance operations in some communities where the bandits are operating around the college having informed General Officer Commanding 1 Division.

“There are some communities around the school that have developed and because it is like part of the college, maybe they are hiding under that cover, so some bandits are there. Because of that, there is collaboration with other institution’s heads in the college. Constantly, we try to conduct an impromptu searching. We conduct search and patrol from time to time.

“What we discovered now is that, not too far ahead, some communities… it is like all these bandits have made all that place their aim, so I discussed with GOC 1 Div. From time to time, we need to carry out clearance operations,” the AFCSC Commandant said.

The Commandant further disclosed that the bandits rustled some cows behind the college on Tuesday, April 13 – a development that led to gun duel between them and the military operatives.

He, however, did not disclose whether there was any casualty, noting that he came to brief the COAS so as not to be surprised if he hears anything subsequently.

According to him, “In fact, yesterday (Tuesday), I was told that some bandits came to come and rustle some cows just behind us. There was an exercise that was carried out by the NACI. They actually encountered these bandits, they had to exchange fire during the exercise.

“Those are the things we’re trying to ensure that we are not surprised if they have come that close, then, we need to sit tight and ensure we clear that place.”

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Deputy Nigeria Ambassador to Jordan, Ibrahim Mohammed,(1st left) the Managing Director Ministry of Tourism and Antiquiies, Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, (middle) Executive Secretary NCPC, Yakubu Pam (right) during a courtesy visit paid to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Jordan recently

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Coalition Warns Anti-Vaxxers, Urges Nigerians To Disregard Fake News Of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

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The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy has urged Nigerians to treat reports of side effects from the AstraZeneca jab as fake news, noting that some elements are out to frustrate the ongoing vaccination exercise.

This follows the claim of blood vomit by a woman in Kaduna after allegedly being administered the vaccine.

While the state government has vowed to investigate the report, the National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy said the assertion is the handiwork of anti-vaxxers.

In a statement signed by its Director of Public Enlightenment, Samson Abu, on Saturday, the group, though, admitted potential side effects from the jab, added that some persons are out to sow fear in the minds of Nigerians.

Abu, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to disregard all fake news pertaining to the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to him, the supposed victim is an isolated case yet to be proven by any expert.

The group, however, urged Nigerians to continue to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them

Read the full statement below:

The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy is appalled by the deployment of fake news by anti-vaccine elements in Nigeria in their bid to scare and discourage people from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that is meant to protect against the Corona Virus and save lives.

The fake news, published with the headline “Woman vomits blood after taking COVID-19 vaccine” is a disingenuous attempt at creating a deepfake given the effort that was made to create the impression that one Hannatu Tanko was rushed to Gwamna Awan General Hospital in Kaduna State because she started vomiting blood after receiving the vaccine.

Interestingly, the same script was published by several blogs and a few undiscerning news sites without the publishers carrying out the necessary checks and without speaking with experts on what could have led to the woman’s condition.

The fake news also created the impression that there is coercion in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine whereas people are voluntarily accepting the jab owing to their knowledge of how it protects one from catching the deadly virus. Such a desperate act could have only resulted from people that are keen on seeing the pandemic decimate humanity.

With more than half a million so far vaccinated, even if the account of the woman experiencing reactions to the vaccine were correct, the case would be an isolated one and the fact that sources claimed the woman is recovering confirms that the vaccine is safe while any unintended effect would be at worst temporary. We, therefore, find it unacceptable that the isolated and unproven instance is now being used by purveyors of fake news and anti-Vaxxers to discourage Nigerians from taking the vaccine. This is a huge disservice and unacceptable.

For the avoidance of doubts, experts’ views are required to confirm that what a person experiences after taking the jab is related to the vaccine. To do this, the experts would have ruled out that the symptoms exhibited by such are not caused by other underlying factors that coincidentally flared up at about the same time the person took their vaccine.

The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration and Advocacy consequently warn detractors and anti-vaxxers in Nigeria that they have a responsibility to society to desist from sowing fear in the mind of the people especially when it is apparent that the fake news they are spreading has all the potential to hurt more people than save them.

We appeal to Nigerians to disregard all fake news about the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine and only based their decision to accept the jab or not on sound science, which would make them appreciate the benefits it offers. Nigerians, who truly value their wellbeing as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, should make it a personal responsibility to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them.

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