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Lekki Shooting: Activists Berate CNN Over Unprofessional, Biased Documentary, Say It Is Abuse Of Fair-Reportage

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The Coalition Against Fake News (CAFN) has lashed out at Cable News Network (CNN) over its report on the Lekki shooting in Lagos State.

According to the CAFN, the American television channel was unprofessional and biased with its reportage that alleged that troops of the Nigerian Army used live bullets during the EndSARS protests.

Comrade Finba Edmond, its Executive Converner, speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, said the report by CNN is only a mere rehash of the existing narrative that has been faulted by different independent bodies in Nigeria and across the world. 

According to the coalition, the video released on Wednesday was with the intent of misleading the general public, correlating an agenda bent on destabilizing Nigeria. 

The coalition, however, warned Nigerians as well as the international community about distractors envious of the considerable gains recorded in the country in all aspect of socio-economic life.  

It also urged Nigerians to come to terms with the realization that the nation is up against an “international conspiracy to derail and thwart our nascent democracy by sowing the seed of discord in the polity to cause a crisis of unimaginable proportion”. 

Read full statement below:

The Coalition Against Fake News is holding this press conference given the recent video released by the Cable News Network (CNN) on the incidence at the Lekki Tollgate during the EndSARS Protests.  

It is imperative that issues must be put in proper perspective for the generality of members of the public, and under no circumstance should Fake News be allowed to fester due to its negative consequences. 

It must be stated that indeed there is a sinister motive by some vested interests to destabilize Nigeria and these individuals and groups have been most ferocious in this enterprise not minding the socio-economic implication of their actions. 

Sadly, the CNN has ironically joined the bandwagon of fake news promoters with its recently released video alleging that soldiers used live bullets and fired into the crowd of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate. 

The Coalition Against Fake News sees the action of the CNN as a mere rehash of the existing narrative that has been faulted by different independent bodies in Nigeria with regards to what transpired at the Lekki Tollgate. 

What the CNN did was to tow the same line by aggregating videos that were already in circulation and introduced a slant that would give credence to the narrative that soldiers used live bullets and indeed deaths were recorded.

We are consequently constrained to believe that the introduction of the CNN into the issues at hand is as a result of the testimony of the Nigerian Army at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution which indeed out issues in proper perspectives. 

The Coalition Against Fake News as an independent group that has devoted substantial time and resources to research on a wide array of issues of public concern in Nigeria is appalled that the CNN would undertake to spread Fake News with impunity with regards to the EndSARS protest in Nigeria. 

The CNN not only attempted to turn the truth on its head, but it also delved into an area it has minimal understanding of the undercurrents and the subsequent escalation of violence that led to the destruction of properties as well as the loss of human lives.

It is also curious that the CNN report for inexplicable reasons elected to ignore the fact that the once peaceful protest was hijacked by some sponsored thugs and hoodlums that wreaked havoc through the burning of police stations in parts of Lagos state as well as the barbaric way police officers were murdered in cold blood under the guise of EndSARS protests.  

This is indeed an indication that there is a lot that meets the eyes with the EndSARS protest given the fact that as the dust is gradually settling, the CNN has so decided to recycle the issues that are being addressed at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution. 

It is our view that the recent video released by CNN is meant to serve the purpose of misleading the general public. It might not be farfetched if those vested interests that are bent on destabilizing Nigeria are the brain behind it. 

That the CNN elected to be so used as a tool for the weaponization of fake news against the Nigerian state and her citizenry is indeed despicable and should be condemned by all discerning individuals and groups. 

We wish to consequently inform all Nigerians as well as the international community that the recently released video by the CNN is indeed the handiwork of distractors that are envious of the considerable gains recorded in Nigeria in all aspect of our socio-economic life.  

Nigerians must as a result of this come to terms with the realization that Nigeria is up against an international conspiracy to derail and thwart our nascent democracy by sowing the seed of discord in the polity to cause a crisis of unimaginable proportion. 

It is also our considered opinion that the use of CNN to further their agenda against Nigeria is ultimately targeted at the Nigerian Army as an institution that has been protective of democracy in Nigeria. 

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the Nigerian Army is under constant and scathing attacks by individuals and groups with the ultimate aim of demeaning the efforts of the Nigerian Army so far in preserving the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as the entrenchment of our nascent democracy. 

The Coalition Against Fake News is using this medium to call on all well-meaning Nigerians to view the video by the CNN with a pinch of salt as multiple indicators suggest that it is sponsored against the interest of Nigeria. That the CNN has joined the fray of fake new merchants should give us a reason to be alarmed as the forces against Nigeria are more than we can imagine. 

The Coalition Against Fake News wishes to state in unequivocal terms that the involvement of the CNN has indeed raised a red flag that indeed our democracy is under a threat of unimaginable proportion and hence the need for Nigerians to be wary of fake news merchants.

We must, at this point come to terms with the reality on the ground and join hands with the government in addressing the threat posed by fake news merchants, else we might all have ourselves to blame.

The CNN has by this action indicated that it has a bitter agenda in Nigeria. A word is enough for the wise. 

I thank you all for taking out time to attend this press conference. The Coalition Against Fake News would continue to dissect issues of public concern in the overall interest of Nigeria. 

Thank you. 

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Politics

BUA Group Chairman’s Presidential Campaign Posters Flood Kano

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Campaign posters of the Chairman of BUA Group Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu have  flooded the city of Kano, indicating his interest under the banner of main opposition party Peoples Democratic Party PDP.

The posters sighted in various parts of Kano Metropolis on Wednesday may yet be a strong indicator that the business mogul would throw his hat into the ring for the 2023 presidential race.

Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri  a Board of Trustees (BoT) member  of the PDP and Minister of Police Affairs under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan recently said in an interview with Daily Trust  that the presidential ticket of the party will be zoned to the North due to an  understanding to that effect.

While some party members are in support of a norther ticket, it is understood that there are those who oppose it.
BUA Group Chairman will be eligible to contest for the presidency under PDP if eventually zoning to the North holds sway in the party.

See pictures below:

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Much Ado About Tunde Sabiu’s Employment In NIA

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These are indeed interesting times in Nigeria. I am beginning to believe that it is now an occupation for some individuals and groups to imagine things and pass their imagination to the general public without thinking of the implication of their actions.

The latest in town that got me on the floor rolling is the news making the rounds that the personal assistant to the President, Tunde Sabiu has been appointed an assistant director in the elite National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
This is indeed interesting and I dare say anyone that must have cooked up this story is indeed a legend for coming up with such that is capable of making Nigerians believe that we are still in the year 2020.

I must confess that after reading the news, I asked myself some questions about the challenges of mental health in Nigeria. I am of the considered opinion that some people are undergoing mental health challenges even without their knowledge. I say this because for anyone to have thought it wise that the personal assistant to the president would be employed as an assistant director in one of the country’s most strategic security outfit is a blow below the belt and possibly a sign of hallucination.

Several questions ran through my mind so much so that I wondered how we got it wrong and why some persons would take delight in spreading mischief in the country recklessly. I am not convinced that such a thing would ever happen because, for starters, Tunde Sabiu is not conversant with the operations of the National Intelligence Agency.

I am also aware that the NIA as an agency is tasked with overseeing foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations. I am also aware that Tunde Sabiu does not have the requisite qualification or expertise to be employed in such an organization and with the position of assistant director.

Let us assume the news is true, what department would he fit in? Is he going to be redeployed from the Office of the President to the National Intelligence Agency? This is just one piece of awful news since the beginning of 2021. If not for anything I have my suspicion that the target is not Tunde Sabiu, but rather President Muhammadu Buhari in the attempt to paint him as despotic leader and promoting nepotism.

This might not be far-fetched in the sense that in recent times there have been scathing attacks on the personality of President Muhammadu Buhari with some insinuating that he is the president for a select few and not the generality of Nigerians. What more can be unpleasant than this.

And now, the polity is awash with news that Tunde Sabiu has gained employment with the National Intelligence Agency out of the blues, and even without merit. I am still in awe of how such a thing would happen in a country such as Nigeria.
When such anomalies are allowed to thrive in Nigeria the consequences might be severe in the sense that lots of misleading information would thrive at the expense of the truth. This is what aroused my concern with the Tunde Sabiu employment news. And to think that a large segment of the population believed the mischief was worrisome.

I think this remains unfair for the young man that is devoted to his job. I am not sure he has any reason to want to be involved in such mischief and I equally do not believe that President Muhammadu Buhari would encourage such under his watch.

This much Tunde Sabiu knows and why he would not undertake to be involved in such an anomaly that would bring disrepute to the administration. At this point, it is expedient that issues are put in proper perspective to douse the tension already created by the obvious fake news.

I will say this again, Tunde Sabiu cannot be employed in the National Intelligence Agency under whatever circumstance because he has no such experience in security issues. Moreover, the NIA is involved in serious business at the international scene and as such there the entrenchment of professionalism.

I am also of the considered view that Tunde Sabiu is the latest victim of the slander campaign of key members of the present administration. President Muhammadu Buhari has had his fair share, and likewise others. But in all of them, that of Tunde Sabiu is the most hilarious because it roundly defeats common sense.

Nigerians must do well to differentiate between truth and falsehood especially in this era of fake news where anything goes, especially in the social media space. This once again reinforces why there should be some form of regulation of contents in the social media space because we must be cognizant of the fact that people react to issues differently.

Having said all, it would be wise for Tunde Sabiu to come out and clear the air at the risk of giving the impression that after all the news is true. I don’t think that would be too much for him to undertake given the fact that his reputation and by extension that of his boss are at stake. And for those spreading falsehood, they need to get some mental health evaluation before things get out of control because saying Tunde Sabiu has gained employment as an assistant director in the National Intelligence Agency is tantamount to saying that the capital of Nigeria is Accra. A word is indeed enough for the wise.

Agbese is a an author and public affairs commentator writing from Abuja.

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Aisha Buhari @50: Strange As Presidency Refuse To Celebrate The First Lady

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Aisha Buhari wife of the president of Nigeria clocks  50 today , but the presidency has remained silent with no message from any quarter of the presidency to celebrate her first lady.

Recall that for some time now the First lady have disappeared from public space with no explanation of her whereabout from the presidency.

To make matters worst her PA have insisted she is not a public official and so she is entitled to private life.

Only the governor of Lagos state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, congratulated the first lady on the occasion of her birthday.

the governor who issued a press statement through his chief press secretary described the first lady as a mother to all.

“On behalf of the good people of Lagos State and my adorable wife, Ibijoke, I heartily congratulate the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari on the occasion of her 50th birthday celebration,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said.

“Our First Lady attaining the age of 50 years in grace, elegance and good health is worth celebrating. Over the years, you have shown your passion for the needy in our country and as a women’s rights activist and child rights advocate, you are a major critic against child marriage.

“As an advocate of women’s and children rights, your campaign for young girls to get primary and secondary school education before getting married has yielded positive results in the country.

“Your passion for women and children made you establish a Pet Project, ‘Future Assured’ an initiative to continue your advocacy work for the health and well-being of women and children through community mobilisation and health promotion. This programme without any iota of doubt has impacted positively on millions of people directly and indirectly.

“On the political turf, your ideas and contributions on national issues are of good use. You have displayed courage and bravery on many occasions to show your passion for a better Nigeria.

“On this landmark occasion of your golden Jubilee celebration, I pray that God will continue to grant you good health to enable you render more service to humanity.”

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