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APC dismisses CNN report, says, ‘No room  for blackmail in Lagos’

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Blackmail

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State has faulted the report by CNN on the October 20 Lekki shootings, adding that there is no room for blackmail in the state. The ruling party said the report left more questions than answers, adding that it was suspicious.

Its publicity secretary, Seye Oladejo, said those trying to capitalise on the report to blackmail the state government were mischievous.

CNN reported that a forensic probe of the bullet casings recovered from the scene of the incident revealed that live bullets were fired at the protesters. Oladejo said in a statement that the report by CNN amounted to throwing spanner in the works of the judicial panel constituted by the Lagos State government on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the incident.

He described the CNN report as a ‘piece of fiction’ fueled by rumours, adding that it contrasted with the balanced reportage by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which had correspondents at the scene of the incident.

He said the panel headed by Justice Doris Okwuobi will not rely on media reports in arriving at a conclusion on what actually transpired at Lekki Toll Gate. Oladejo said: “I guess a time like this represents a period when silence is eloquently golden. The judicial panel of enquiry is still at work trying to dig out the facts and put the pieces together.  I’m just too sure the panel won’t rely on media reports to form an opinion on what actually transpired”.

“It’s interesting to note the two contrasting reports of two reputable international media brands , the BBC and CNN, on the same incident. While the BBC had correspondents on ground for professional and ethical coverage, the CNN put its controversial reports together a month after the incident relying on eye witnesses, rumors and the deployment of technology from the comfort of their London studio to piece their fiction together”.

“While the technology could capture the military deployment and the purported shooting, it couldn’t show us the alleged carting away of the victims by military. It also remains a mystery that we didn’t see a blood soaked Lekki toll gate after the incident. The series of resurrections of hitherto announced dead victims was conveniently left out just like the fluctuating number of fatalities”.

He added: “The report left more questions than answers and a discomforting suspicion of its intention. This speaks volume about the reputation of the medium. Anyway, it will go down in history as reporting a bloodless massacre. However, it’s imperative that the fact finding panel is not distracted from its onerous assignment.

“It’s advisable that whoever has a submission should approach the panel rather than give in to needless sensation rather than blackmail. The healing process which has commenced in earnest requires the support of all and sundry. The inauguration of the independent committee to spearhead the rebuilding of the monumental losses and the helping hand extended to the victims of looting and wanton destruction are moves in the right direction,” it concluded.

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