The Federal Government has on Thursday, November 19, made a defence against the CNN report on the Lekki shooting, insisting that no “massacre” occurred as “irresponsibly” peddled on the social media. Speaking during a press conference in Abuja, Lai-Mohammed, minister of culture and information, made this known as he cleared airs amid a fresh whirlpool of the controversy generated by the CNN report on the EndSARS protest. The information Minister threatened that the Federal Government will not hesitate to sanction the foreign media for what he termed “irresponsible journalism.”
He described the alleged shooting which happened Monday, October 20, 2020, as a “massacre without bodies,” adding that the violence was aggravated by “unscrupulous persons” including celebrities who circulated fake news through the social media. According to the Minister, no single person was killed as no family has come out to claim that their family member was killed during the Lekki tollgate.
“The irresponsible use of social media by some unscrupulous persons aggravated the violence that erupted in the wake of the EndSARS protest and helped to precipitate the violence. While the Government has no plans to shut down the internet, it will work with stakeholders to regulate social media to curb abuse “Those who use the social media responsibly have nothing to fear, but those who abuse it have every reason to be worried, as no responsible Government will stand by and allow a few unscrupulous elements to set the Country ablaze.
“CNN goofed in its preconceived stance that the soldiers who were deployed to Lekki Toll Gate indeed shot at protesters, killing some of them. CNN relied heavily on unverified and possibly-doctored videos, as well as information sourced from questionable sources, to reach its conclusion. This should earn CNN a serious sanction for irresponsible reporting.