Amnesty International’s report on Lekki shootings misleading —Presidency

THE Presidency has accused the Amnesty International (AI) of projecting misleading and inaccurate details about recent events surrounding the #EndSARS protest and the attending chaos.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, who spoke Wednesday morning on the Channels Television daily programme ‘Sunrise Daily’ said Amnesty International’s report on the crisis was inaccurate, misplacing facts and wrong in most cases.

According to Adesina, the narrative of widespread chaos in various parts of the country, which had seen many policemen and civilians killed, police stations burnt, private and public properties looted and destroyed, was precipitated by the incident at the Lekki Toll Plaza on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, was generated by AI was a misleading narrative.

According to him, timeline of events showed that anarchic activities had commenced way ahead of the alleged shooting at the toll plaza, citing the jailbreaks in Benin and Oko, the attacks on police stations and murder of police personnel in different places as pointers to the fact that the chaos that had recently pervaded the country were not just as a result of the Lekki incident.

Responding to a question that the looting was a fall out of the Lekki shootings, Adesina said: “You are not quite correct. You are falling for the narrative of Amnesty International. And Amnesty is wrong. Anarchy had broken loose even before Lekki. The prisons in Benin and Oko had been broken open before Lekki. Orile police station had been burnt before Lekki.

“Many policemen had been burnt before Lekki. So, you cannot say it was Lekki that precipitated all those things. Look at the timelines, look at when all those things happened.

“You will discover that it had happened before Lekki. So, you are falling for the gambit of Amnesty International.

“Amnesty International does not have all the facts, they don’t run this country. They shouldn’t know beyond what they have been told. They shouldn’t know more than you and I should know as media people, as watchers of developments,” he said.

When asked if it was the President’s thinking that Amnesty’s report was wrong, the presidential spokesman said Amnesty International had been known to always make unsubstantiated reports about Nigeria. “Many times, the military has come out to dispute facts brought out by Amnesty,” he said.

The presidential spokesman revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered his Ministers to submit reports of their engagements with stakeholders in their various states over the recent chaotic events following #EndSARS within the next week. The Nation had reported that the President, during last week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, directed the Ministers to go back to their home states and do everything to douse the tension across the country.

However, only two ministers had their reports ready as at Wednesday when the week’s FEC meeting was convened, which made the President to order a mandatory submission of reports to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) within a week.

Asked what to expect out of the reports, Adesina said: “It can only be positive. “It will help us to establish the truth to some things because there are a lot of conjectures, colourations, outright falsehoods, fake news and others. “The Ministers can come with what is near authentic based on the consultations they are going to make.”

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