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#EndSarsMemorial: Nigerian Gov’t Wants Apology From CNN, Amnesty International Over Lekki Shootings

The Nigerian government has demanded an apology from Amnesty international, CNN and Obianuju Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch, over their alleged role in “misleading Nigerians” about  the #EndSARS protests of 2020.

Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture disclosed the government’s stance  while speaking at a conference held in Abuja on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Mohammed described the toll-gate killings as a “phantom massacre,” insisting that there was no evidence to prove that the deaths took place.

“At earlier press conferences, I had called the reported massacre at the toll gate the first massacre in the world without blood or bodies,” he said.

The minister accused CNN and Amnesty International of peddling fake reports of the massacre which they have allegedly failed to prove till date.

“On Monday, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry that was set up by the Lagos State Government after the EndSARS protest wrapped up its sitting. During the sitting, CNN was summoned but it never showed up, thus missing a great opportunity to prove its allegation of massacre at the toll-gate.”

“Also, Amnesty International had a golden opportunity to convince the world, but it rather opted for issuing meaningless press releases.”

The Minister, during his statement implied that Amnesty International and CNN have continued to populate the world with details of an ‘incident that never took place.’

According to him, testimony of ballistic experts before the judicial panel of enquiry in Lagos contradicts “the tales by the moonlight by Amnesty International, CNN, a runaway DJ and their ilk.”

Mohammed maintained that “The military did not shoot at protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Oct. 20, 2020, and there was no massacre at the toll gate. The only ‘massacre’ recorded was in the social media, hence there were neither bodies nor blood.”

“Amnesty International, CNN, a runaway DJ and others like them should apologise for misleading the world that there was a massacre at the Lekki Tollgate and for portraying the Nigerian military, police and other security agencies in bad light…” he declared.

The minister also said that the Nigerian government remains proud of the security forces for “acting professionally and showing utmost restraint all through the EndSARS protest.”

After the #EndSARS protest, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, directed all 36 state governments to set up a panel to investigate extra-judicial killings by the defunct SARS.

But despite reports and evidence presented at the panels, the government is yet to accept that security forces indeed killed protesters at the Lekki tollgate.

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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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