- The federal government has insisted that there was no shooting at Lekki toll gate
- Lai-Mohammed, information minister, during Thursday's press conference, slammed CNN over "irresponsible journalism”
- The minister said the violence at the Lekki tollgate was aggravated on social media by some “unscrupulous persons”
The federal government 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 the air amid fresh controversies 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 on Tuesday, 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 any member was killed during the Lekki tollgate incident.
"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."
The minister also commended the security operatives for their handling of the situation.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that not under his watch will another EndSARS protest be staged by Nigerians as it happened in the month of October.
Speaking on Tuesday, November 17, during a quarterly meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), Buhari said he would not allow the repeat of the nationwide demonstration which led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties.
Muhammad Dingyadi, minister of police affairs, made this disclosure during a press briefing at the State House on the outcome of the meeting which was presided over by the president at the Presidential Villa.
#ENDSARS or #REFORMSARS? Nigerians blow hot | Legit TV