#EndSARS: FG satisfied with military, police role ― Lai Mohammed
The Federal Government has expressed satisfaction with the roles played by the military, police, and other security agencies during the #EndSARS protests last month.
At a press conference held inside the Army Resource Centre, Mambilla Barracks, Abuja, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohamed insisted that there were no deaths resulting from the shootings at the Lekki toll plaza on the night of October 20, 2020 as soldiers only shot blank bullets in the air.
“At this point, it is important to say that the Federal Government is very satisfied with the role played by the security agencies, especially the military and the police, all through the EndSARS crisis. The security agents were professional and measured in their response,” he said.
The minister argued that soldiers and policemen “deserve commendation not condemnation” unless people would say “their lives do not matter”.
He blamed human rights organisations and some media organisations for allegedly propagating falsehoods and refusing to express outrage at the killing of security agents during the riots that followed the protests.
While singling out BBC for commendation for reporting that soldiers only shot in the air, Mohammed lambasted CNN, which he said “goofed in its preconceived stance that the soldiers who were deployed to Lekki Toll Gate indeed shot at protesters, killing some of them.
“CNN relied heavily on unverified and possibly-doctored videos, as well as information sourced from questionable sources, to reach its conclusion.
“This should earn CNN a serious sanction for irresponsible reporting.”
Asked how he hoped to see the sanction meted, the minister said the station should have an international mechanism but that the Federal will certainly deal with the station in its own way.
The minister complained that human rights organisations did not recognise that security agents are also human beings and they have rights too.
“It is also disheartening that the human rights organizations have not seen anything wrong in the mindless violence that was perpetrated in the name of EndSARS,” he lamented while disclosing that “six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed all over the country during the crisis.
“This is in addition to 196 policemen who were injured; 164 police vehicles that were destroyed and 134 police stations that were razed.”