Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has taken a swipe at the Cable News Network (CNN), saying no foreign media will negatively change the narrative of the #EndSARS protest that was held in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this during a press briefing at the Government House in Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday.
A report by CNN in November 2020 showed that the Nigerian Army fired live and blank bullets at peaceful protesters gathered at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, to demand an end to police brutality and SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad).
The defunct SARS, a police unit, was notorious for extrajudicial killings, human rights violations and brutality.
CNN also released the second part of an investigation on the incident, which further implicates the Nigerian Army in the killing of peaceful protesters.
In response, the Nigerian Government described the report as fake news without providing any evidence to substantiate its claim.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed claimed CNN was desperate and peddling fake news.
But the report released recently by the Lagos #EndSARS Panel, set up to investigate the happenings at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020, and cases of police brutality leading to the protest, revealed that there was indeed a massacre at the toll plaza.
The report found that the Nigerian Army and police fired live bullets at peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate last year.
It also concluded that the “deliberate absence of officers of the Nigerian Army who were present at the Lekki Toll Gate and who were summoned by the Panel was a calculated attempt to conceal material evidence from the Panel”.
Also, it said ‘the atrocious maiming and killing of unarmed, helpless and unresisting protesters, while sitting on the floor and waving their Nigerian flags, while singing the National Anthem can be equated to a ‘massacre’ in context”.
Following this, Olumide Babalola, Nigerian counsel for the CNN, called on Lai Mohammed to tender an apology to the medium for tagging it a fake news outfit after an investigative report carried out by the American media house on the killing of protesters at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.
Reacting during a press briefing on Tuesday, Sanwo-Olu said the leaked report had reopened deep wounds and caused tensions.
He further took a swipe at CNN as he urged Lagosians to join him in a peace walk geared towards the healing of the land as he started, “let us show the world who we are, no foreign media will change negatively our narrative. We are Lagosians, a people of great renown driven by the irrepressible spirit of Lagos.”
He said, “Dear Lagosians, this month of December, I will be leading a walk of peace to herald the healing of our land, let me, therefore, use this occasion to extend an open invitation to all of our youths, members of the diplomatic board, civil society groups, gentlemen of the press, media and other stakeholders to join me.
“I would want Folarin Falana popularly known as Falz, I would want Mr Macaroni, Debo Adebayo, activist lawyer, Dele Farotimi, Temitope Majekodunmi, Segun Awosanya, Adetoun who draws me every day, I would want the legendary son of Fela, Seun Kuti.
“I would also want the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu and the commander of the RRS, CSP Yinka Egbeyemi to join me in this historic mark for our dear Lagos, no one will build this city for us. Let us show the world who we are, no foreign media will change negatively our narrative, we are Lagosians, a people of great renown driven by the irrepressible spirit of Lagos.”