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CNN, BBC: ‘I’m Disgusted With Coverage Of #EndSARS Protest’ – Buhari

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CNN, BBC: ‘I'm Disgusted With Coverage Of #EndSARS Protest’ - BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has said he is disgusted with the coverage of #EndSARS protests by foreign media, including British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and America’s Cable News Network (CNN).

The President said this at a meeting with state governors at the presidential villa in Abuja on Tuesday December 8.

Buhari in a statement released by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, accused CNN and BBC of failing to report about the killing of police officers and attacks on police stations and prisons.

Many Nigerians especially youths in October held protests in major cities, demanding the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police and end to police brutality.

The SARS, which was dissolved days into the protest, was notorious for extra-judicial killings, harassment and excessive use of force.

The protest gained global traction with prominent people across the globe lending their voices to the campaign.

The largely peaceful protest was later trailed by hoodlums who unleashed acts such as looting and arson.

Read Also: Breaking: Security Operatives Open Fire At Peaceful #EndSARS Protesters At Lekki Toll Gate (Graphic Videos)

However, on October 20, two weeks after the protest began, Nigerian soldiers shot unarmed protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos state.

This generated outrage in and outside the country, which even further escalated when the army and Lagos State government initially denied shooting.

Read Also: Lekki Tollgate: Nigerian Army Denies Shooting Peaceful #EndSARS Protesters, Says Lagos Invited Military To Restore Order

Subsequently, the Army admitted that there were present at the scene of shooting but only blank bullets were shot to disperse the crowd.

Read Also: Lekki Shooting: Nigerian Army Changes Position, Says Soldiers Had Both Live And Blank Ammunition

However, CNN carried out an independent investigation into the actual happenings during the night of the shooting.

The investigation uncovered that protesters were actually shot dead following series of interviews with victims, contrary to denial by FG and Army.

Read Also: #EndSARS: Ballistics Experts Confirm Army Used Live Rounds On Peaceful Protesters As CNN Releases Findings From Investigation Into Lekki Shooting (Videos)

It also revealed that the bullets used are a 2015 brand purchased from Serbia, refuting claims from the army denying the use of live ammunition.

However, Federal Government officials condemned the CNN report as fallacious and irresponsible, calling for the sanction of the media house. 

Read Also: FG Petitions CNN Over Lekki Shooting Report, Threatens Legal Action (Photos)

In his first public comment on the coverage of the protests, President Buhari said the foreign media coverage was not balanced.

He specifically accused CNN and BBC of omitting the killing of police officers and attacks on police stations and prisons.

The President expressed;

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. (They said we are all at fault. We don’t have the sympathy of anyone. We are on our own).

President Buhari further warned that the government would no longer allow violent demonstrations in Nigeria, adding: “democracy does not mean confusion or lack of accountability”.

On the destruction of private and public property, Buhari said no responsible government would allow such to happen again, stressing;

We do not stop anyone from demonstrating, but you don’t set up roadblocks and smash windscreens. Which government will allow that?

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