Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, has berated the Cable News Network (CNN) for celebrating the Lagos State panel report on EndSARS protest and Lekki tollgate killing.
The panel had alleged human rights abuses by the police and the Nigerian Army during the EndSARS protest at the Lekki Tollgate.
Mohammed, who described the panel’s report as fake news saying the report cannot be relied on, also said the Buhari-led Federal Government cannot change its mind that there was no massacre.
The Minister said that CNN and the other media houses were in a rush to claim vindication and apparently did not even read the report.
“By that action, CNN has celebrated prematurely and has now committed a double faux pas: First, by relying on unverified social media stories and videos to carry out an investigation of the Oct. 20th, 2020 incident at Lekki, where it did not have a correspondent on ground, CNN goofed.
“In its report on the findings of the panel, which fell below the main standards of journalism. Secondly, CNN rushed to the air to celebrate an unsigned and unverified report that is riddled with inconsistencies, errors, discrepancies, innuendoes,” he said.
“That’s double faux pas by a news organization that is eager and willing to compromise standards just to claim vindication.”
Mohammed said in an attempt to vilify the government at all costs, a section of the media did themselves a great disservice.
”How can any news organization worth its salt write an Editorial validating this kind of report? Are they not seeing what others, including journalists and lawyers, are seeing?” he asked.
He lamented that a Nigerian newspaper chose to hail the report by CNN even when the news channel did not even cover the incident of Oct. 20th, 2020.
”It’s a classic case of cutting your nose to spite your face,” he added.