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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Breaking: CNN Retracts Initial Report Soldiers Killed 38 at Lekki Tollgate During #EndSARS Protest
The Cable News Network has retracted its initial report, which said operatives of the Nigerian Army killed 38 persons at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State on October 20, 2020.
The international broadcaster did this a double retraction on its Twitter handle it titled: “Clarification.”
In the “Clarification,” CNN said it did not attribute the death toll to Amnesty International and also failed to say in the report that the 38 persons killed were not just at the Lekki tollgate but across the country during the #EndSARS protest.
It tweeted: “Clarification: This tweet from October 23 did not attribute the death toll from protests in Nigeria to Amnesty International. The tweet also did not make it clear that the death toll was for protests across the country.”
But it did both in its tweets and reports anchored by Stephanie Busari on the incident as attached to this report.
Though the first paragraph of the amended story on the incident on October 22, 2020 said the reported 38 deaths on October 20, 2020 was nationwide, what it tweeted on October 23, 2020 was that the military did the killing that day.
In that same first paragraph of the story, the international broadcaster attributed its source of death of 56 persons to Amnesty International, a position it then retreated in the early hours of Friday.
It wrote in the story, which video link is also attached: “At least 56 people have died across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protests began on October 8, with 38 killed across the country on Tuesday alone, according to human rights group Amnesty International.”
The Nigerian Government had through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, written a protest letter to the Management of CNN complaining about the authenticity of a report that put together various videos of the Lekki Tollgate shooting.
However, CNN followed it up with a Part 2 of the report.
The Nigerian Army had also disputed both the initial report on the October 20, 2020 shooting and the two parts report on the video evidences CNN claimed justified its position on the shooting incident.
Reactions to the “Clarification” by CNN had been pouring in since it was done at about 10:05pm Nigerian time on Thursday.
However, the broadcaster has not said anything on the two parts report that followed in the last one week.
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.
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