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#EndSARS Protesters, Opposition Using Fake News to Discredit Military – NDF

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The National Democratic Front (NDF) says the #EndSARS protesters and opposition politicians are using fake news to discredit the Nigerian military.

The NDF raised this alarm in a press statement signed by its Secretary-General Bolaji Abdulkadir on Friday.

According to the group, the protesters are to be blamed for the growing spate of violence and attacks on law enforcement agents across the country having incited Nigerians with fake news.

In a bid to push their agenda, it said the Nigerian Army have been accused of atrocities it did not commit while its personnel are called out in public over incidents they know nothing about.

Worse still, the NDF said the international community are made to believe these falsehoods, especially as it is being sold to them by some supposed celebrities-turned activists.

The National Democratic Front, however, appealed to Nigerians to be more vigilant than ever and begin to subject multimedia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp to basic fact-checking while also interrogating whatever vested interests on mainstream media.

It also urged the Army to expand the cyber component of its Exercise Crocodile Smile VI to counter fake news, including identifying offending sites for clean-up.

Read full statement below:

The National Democratic Front (NDF) is compelled to raise the alarm over the industrial scale weaponization and deployment of fake news by #EndSARS protesters and the opposition against the Nigerian Military.

It is most tragic that at a time when citizens of the country should have been coordinated to pursue the dire reform being championed by true patriots, unsuspecting Nigerians are being conscripted into undermining their country in response because they are being manipulated by the #EndSARS protesters. The incitement of the citizens through fake news is responsible for their growing confrontation with law enforcement and the consequent orgy of arson that is being witnessed in several cities of the country.

In the days since the #EndSARS protests begun, organizations, individual and even families have not been spared with the Nigerian Army being accused of atrocities it did not commit while its personnel are being called out in public over incidents, they know nothing about. In the vilest form of fake news even, there have been instances where the family photographs of unrelated persons are being shared and tagged as those of military personnel that have engaged in human rights abuses.

We have similarly recorded instances in which videos or photographic records of incidents dating back several months or even years are being shared as if they occurred in the last couple of days during the #EndSARS protests just as events that occurred in other African countries are presented as taking place in Nigeria. Accident victims are presented as a casualty of military intervention in the protests while celebrities who were having private moments in their private spaces were reported dead by protest leaders simply to provoke Nigerians into supporting their protests.

Even more worrisome is how the #EndSARS protesters have mainstreamed fake news by feeding international outlets like CNN with lies and then sending their members as talking heads to appear on news shows on such broadcasts outlets to bestow an appearance of facts on the lies they are telling. Some celebrity activists have been recruited for this purpose and they go the extra of leveraging social media like Twitter and Instagram to further promote their lies.

The National Democratic Front, therefore, appeals to Nigerians to be more intellectually vigilant than they have ever been since the campaign of fake news directed at the country will not relent but will rather intensify as the protesters run out of ideas in their bid to cause the worst outrage yet. Nigerians must begin to subject multimedia shared to them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp to basic fact-checking while also learning to interrogate whatever vested interests a mainstream media and even indigenous media outlet may have because the age of media objectivity is gone.

We urge the Nigerian Army to expand the cyber component of its Exercise Crocodile Smile VI to counter fake news, including identifying offending sites for clean-up. It should create a fact-checking site that Nigerians run to when they have to verify that the contents they are being fed are genuine.

Our charge to the protesters and the opposition is not to worsen their entanglement by resorting to fake news since they would easily be exposed as scams and fraud when Nigerians realize they have been taken for a ride by the initial information that the protesters, opposition and activists shared initially. They must therefore stop the use of fake news for attention-grabbing.

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Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists

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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.

Our statement:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

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Why Army is Boosting Land Power, Buratai Speaks at War College Lecture

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said that the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) has continued to churn out highly-capable operational commanders, with a very good understanding of operational art and the requisite skills for the effective application of land power.

Buratai, was the special guest of honour at the ‘Graduation Lecture’ of Course 4/2020, in Abuja. The COAS, who had earlier commissioned the War College Office Extension Building, further said the building is made up of offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity, respectively.

According to Lt. Gen. Buratai, the War College was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. The Commandant of AWCN, Maj. Gen. SE Udounwa, expressed gratitude to the Army Chief for tirelessly supporting the College, especially in the area of infrastructural development.

The AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.

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Army Neutralize 23 Terrorists, 6 Soldiers Wounded

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Troops of Operation Fire Ball, a subsidiary of Operation Lafiya Dole, has neutralized 23 Boko Haram/ISWAP while one terrorist’s Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert was captured alive during a recent encounter.

The operations in the last 3 weeks of this month according to Brig. Gen. Benard Onyeuko has proved to be a significant period against the criminals during which 2 women and 3 children were rescued unhurt while the gallant troops courageously intercepted some Boko Haram criminals while attempting to collect ransom from relations of their abducted victims leading to the decimation of the criminals.

The Ag Director Defence Media Operations revalealed that as a result of the aggressive offensive actions carried out by the troops, several terrorist elements have been neutralized and large number of their equipment were captured including large quantity of their logistics consignment intercepted by the gallant troops.

Items intercepted are; 4 Gun Trucks, one Fabricated Vehicule Blinde Leger, 2 Anti Aircraft Guns, one General Purpose Machine Gun, 2 PKT Guns, 8 AK 47 Rifles, 2 AK 47 Rifle Magazines, one AK 47 Rifle Cover and one Dane Gun.

Furthermore, large cache of ammunition were also captured. This include: 18 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 4 rounds of Brownie Machine Gun ammunition, one Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube, One 36 Hand Grenade, 23 belted rounds of 7.62 x 54, One QJC Extra Barrel, 311 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition (Linked), 511 rounds of PKT ammunition, 8 rounds of Light Machine Gun ammunition, One Service Tools Box,

One gas cylinder (for making IED), 8 bicycles, several bags of grains and assorted packets of drugs. Other assorted non lethal items were also captured from the criminals.

Unfortunately, Onyeuko said, 6 gallant soldiers were wounded in action over the period. However, the wounded soldiers have since been evacuated to a military medical facility and are currently responding positively to treatment.

He assured the entire populace of the North East region of the Nigerian military high command determination to finally rout the remnants of Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals from their enclaves in this zone.

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