The Federal Government has written to the headquarters of CNN in the United States, berating it over a documentary on the #EndSARS protest in Lekki area of Lagos.
The letter dated November 23, 2020 was written by the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed and addressed to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications), CNN Centre, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The government demanded an investigation from CNN into the report on the Lekki toll gate incident “to determine, among others, its authenticity.”
“CNN said it contacted over 100 protesters and family members, but did not speak to one official of Nigeria’s Federal Government. While CNN said there was no response from the army and that officials of Lagos State would not speak in view of the Judicial Panel that is investigating the matter, it did not say what effort it made to speak with any official of the Federal Government,” the letter read.
“The truth is that CNN did not even attempt to reach the Federal Government. Nima Elbagir, who presented the report and most probably led the investigation, is conversant with the Minister of Information and Culture, who is also the spokesman for the Federal Government of Nigeria, yet did not say that she even tried to reach the minister.”
It also lamented that CNN did not for once mention the fact that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed during the #EndSARS crisis, adding that the report was not the first time CNN had “carried an inaccurate or hoax story about Nigeria.”
The letter further read: “While it is up to CNN to accede or not, please note that the Federal Government reserves the right to take any action within its laws to prevent CNN from aggravating the #EndSARS crisis with unprofessional, irresponsible, one-sided, inciting and sensational reporting that is capable of pitting Nigerians against themselves and setting the country on fire.”