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Buhari ‘disgusted’ by CNN, BBC coverage of #EndSARS protest

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Buhari presides over Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting at the State House, Abuja. Photo; TWITTER/NIGERIA

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said he was ‘disgusted’ by the coverage of the protest against police brutality done by the foreign media.

Buhari criticised the CNN and BBC for allegedly not rendering a balanced reportage of the protest tagged #EndSARS.

“I was disgusted by the coverage, which did not give attention to the policemen that were killed, the stations that were burnt, and prisons that were opened,” Buhari tweeted Wednesday evening.

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Buhari’s displeasure for the foreign media’s reportage came more than six weeks after security forces of the Nigerian government allegedly shot at armless protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos, Nigeria.

Prior to the shooting, thousands of Nigerians, mostly youths protested against extortion, harassments and extrajudicial killing of citizens by personnel of the Nigeria Police.

About 12 protesters were killed on the night of Tuesday, October 20 2020 in Lekki and Alausa areas of Lagos, according to Amnesty International.

The international rights group said it has visual timelines that shows personnel of the Nigeria Army and police opening fire at the protesters.

Amnesty International’s claim aligns with that of DJ Switch who filmed the shooting and alleged killing of protesters on that night on Instagram.

She said “we were counting bodies and removing bullets shot at us by the military.” Her claim was denied by the Nigeria Army and police who claim their personnel did not shoot at the protesters initially. The army later told a judicial panel in Lagos that military personnel only shot blank bullets and not live rounds.

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Buhari’s disgust
While the denial continued, both BBC and CNN released separate visual investigations detailing movement of state security personnel at the scene.

Both investigations showed military personnel shooting directly at the protesters who sat on the floor singing the Nigerian national anthem.

The international media outlet also unveiled the identity of a protester who reportedly died on the night of the shootings.

CNN said a forensic probe of the bullet casings recovered from the scene of the incident revealed that live bullets were fired at the protesters

Nigeria information minister Lai Mohammed said claims in the reports were manufactured and do not tell the truth about what happened on the night. Buhari shared the same sentiment with the government spokesman.

“It must be said that foreign press coverage of the ENDSARS violence was not balanced, especially from CNN and BBC,” Buhari said on Wednesday while the government is yet to announce sanctions to both foreign media houses.

Two weeks earlier, Mohammed hinted that CNN will be sanctioned for “irresponsible reporting” of the protest.

“Like everyone else, I watched the CNN report. I must tell you that it reinforces the disinformation that is going around, and it is blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization,” Mohammed told a press conference while addressing issues on the #EndSARS protests in Abuja, Nigeria capital city.

The minister described the report published by CNN as one-dimensional and lacking in balance.

But the CNN said it stands by its story, saying “our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched.”


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