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.
Coalition Warns Anti-Vaxxers, Urges Nigerians To Disregard Fake News Of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
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.
Lekki Massacre: Group Wants Amnesty International, Others Sanctioned After US Vindicates Nigerian Army
Following a report by the United States Department of State on the alleged killing of protesters at the Lekki toll gate, the Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER) has called for sanctions on Amnesty International, Cable News Network (CNN) and others for misleading the world.
The group said the US has vindicated the Nigerian Army of any wrongdoing during the protest in Lagos, exposing the conspiracy by Amnesty and its cohorts.
The report tagged ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria’ released on March 30, 2021, said claims that Nigerian forces killed protesters were “unverified”.
It explained that accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at the end of the year.
And speaking on behalf of CALSER, Executive Director, Ayima Aluor, welcomed the U.S’ report as it emphasises that the “bulk of the information in the public space was meant for mischief purposes and not a reflection of the events that transpired at the Lekki Tollgate”.
According to Aluor, AI acted in malaise and must be sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others notorious for spreading fake news to the detriment of peace and unity in Nigeria.
The group further called on the United States to identify and blacklist staff of AI behind the mischievous report, denying an entry visa to the country for the next 10 years.
While demanding an unreserved apology from the supposed human rights group to the Nigerian Army, CALSER warned sponsors of acts of political violence in Nigeria to desist from their nefarious activities.
Read the full statement below:
The leadership of the Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights welcomes you all to the critical press conference in light of the United States Department of State’s recent statement in its 2020 Reports on Human Rights Practices in Nigeria.
It is instructive to state that the events that led to the infamous EndSARS protests across Nigeria indeed opened a Pandora’s Box on the various conspiracies against the Nigeria Army’s efforts in protecting and preserving the nascent democracy in Nigeria.
The Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights views the statement as a welcome development for all lovers of democracy because it has indeed exposed the conspiracy against the Nigerian Army by Amnesty International and its cohorts.
The report was quite elaborate and explicit. It stated that the claims made by some organizations such as Amnesty International regarding the number of casualties at the Lekki Tollgate could not be verified.
It is thus our considered view that the Nigerian Army has been vindicated, which by and large reinforces the fact that the bulk of the information in the public space was meant for mischief purposes and not a reflection of the events that transpired at the Lekki Tollgate.
It is said that the likes of Amnesty International indeed went to town with a disjointed narrative meant to mislead the members of the unsuspecting general public towards wiping up sentiments and discrediting the invaluable role towards addressing the mayhem that was unleashed in the polity by some vested interest.
This is on the heels that the report explicitly stated that there is no evidence to back up the claims that, indeed, the Nigerian Army fired live bullets into the crowd of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate. We also wish to state that the conflicting numbers of casualties are the handiwork of paid political distractors hiding under human rights groups’ nomenclature.
The statement further highlighted that accurate information on fatalities resulting from the shooting was not available at year’s end. Amnesty International reported ten persons died during the event, but the government disputed Amnesty’s report, and no other organization was able to verify the claim.
The implication of the above stated is that Amnesty International acted in malaise and a reason why we are demanding an unreserved apology from Amnesty International and other unscrupulous groups for attempting to cause a crisis of unimaginable proportion.
The Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights uses this medium to call on the relevant authorities to impose sanctions on Amnesty International to deter other individuals and groups that are notorious for spreading fake news at the detriment of peace and unity in Nigeria.
The likes of Amnesty International must be blacklisted for its mischievous narrative of a massacre at the Lekki Tollgate against the Nigerian Army. We are consequently demanding that Amnesty International and her staff and all persons behind the mischievous campaign against the Nigerian Army regarding the EndSARS protest in Nigeria be denied an entry visa to the United States of America for the next ten years.
This is especially important in light of the new revelation that has exposed the various conspiracies against the Nigerian authorities’ efforts towards the preservation of nascent democracy in the country.
The Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights is also conscious that if such anomaly is allowed to thrive, the larger consequences might be too big for Nigeria to bear given the spate of politically motivated tension in the country.
We also wish to use this medium to sound a note of warning to the sponsors of acts of political violence to desist from their nefarious activities as we shall not hesitate to mobilized Nigerians in their numbers to take to the street in a peaceful protest demanding an end to the activities of Amnesty International and other individuals and groups that are spreading fake news and misleading members of the unsuspecting general public.
Thus, our desire that the United States Department of State’s statement should indeed reawaken the consciousness in Nigerians that certainly Amnesty International does not mean well for the country. As such, all must be done to ensure that its highly misleading campaign against Nigeria is nipped in the bud.
This message is also intended for all those acting as proxies for Amnesty International in the country to desist from any further campaign of deceit and illogical conclusions, as Nigerians are now more enlightened on issues of national interest.
The Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights would remain at the vanguard of ensuring that individuals and groups with ulterior motives are exposed in the quest for peace and sustainable growth and development.
We thank you all for your time and attention. We desire that Nigeria shall overcome its adversaries within the shortest possible time.
God bless Nigeria.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Got It Wrong, COVID-19 Vaccine Saves Lives – NIFROP
The National Inter-Faith Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROP) is appalled by the anti-vaccine stance of the founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, who has issued messages to discourage people from taking the COVID-19 vaccines.
NIFROP is concerned that “Oyakhilome has taken his showmanship too far without regard for how his campaign of misinformation impacts the lives of people who treat the utterances emanating from him as the dictate of God.”
According to the faith-based group, the sanctity of the pulpit should not be abused in this manner as it is totally unacceptable that persons who should minister healing are teaching rebellion.
NIFROP disclosed this in a statement by its Director of Media, Reverend Samson Edeh. It believes Oyakhilome got it wrong because COVID-19 vaccine saves lives.
The statement read, “It is our view that Jesus Christ could have healed the blind man as recounted in (Jn. 9:1-7) by merely declaring healing but still chose to use mud because the things created by God are meant for the use of mankind in all ramifications including in the restoration of health and prevention of ill health. The vaccines that Pastor Chris ignorantly canvassed against were researched, developed and produced by human beings created by God in addition to being sourced from sources created by God, so how can they be anti-faith as he proclaimed?
“We find it worrisome that Pastor Chris continues to exploit the people in Nigeria owing to the sectarian sensitivities that allow him to get away with capital murder. It is on record that the regulatory agency for broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Ofcom, slammed him with more than N65 million in fines for spreading the same falsehood through his Loveworld Television. Had the institutional framework in Nigeria being as robust as it is in the United Kingdom, this charlatan would have been slammed with fines in the vicinity of billions of naira, given the potential damage that his unsubstantiated claims would cause the populace.
“NIFROP encourages Nigerians irrespective of their creed to continue to take the vaccine and adhere to all guidelines and protocol for managing the spread of COVID-19 virus because it is right to do so.
“We appeal to the clergy not to shy away from exhorting their members to take the COVID-19 vaccine, which requires faith to be effective anyway. Those entrusted with being shepherds of the flock should not become the death of the flock entrusted to them in a bid to be populist compliant. The fact that some hardcore conspiracy theorists are demonizing vaccination against COVID-19 is not enough reason for people who call themselves men of God to go cheap.
“We further call for those who truly worship God to rise up in condemnation of the misleading campaign that Pastor Chris is waging to discourage people from being vaccinated and thus prevent themselves from falling ill or even dying. No true pastor will encourage his congregants to be suicidal irrespective of how attractive such an option appears to those who have become indoctrinated to not see the danger that their spiritual mentor poses to mankind.
“We demand that the relevant agencies in Nigeria follow the path of Ofcom and visit Pastor Chris Oyakhilome with the corresponding sanctions for all the infractions he has committed in Nigeria by putting out the wrong information about the vaccine.”
Recall that the United Kingdom government had fined Pastor Oyakhilome, £125,000 for unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about COVID-19.
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