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Lekki Shootings: Between CNN and BBC Reports

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The CNN, last week, came out with what was termed a new report on the Lekki shooting of October 20, which again re-inflamed passion and dominated discussions for the better part of the week. CNN confirmed that soldiers shot at the protesters in Lekki as though it was there.

But CNN was not on the ground, when the shooting took place. It only pieced together its information from the internet and the social media and literally told the same story with the same facts already in circulation but with a different presentation. It concluded one died and another still missing in what had been majorly described a massacre. This is different from its earlier 38 dead.

Curiously, before the CNN report was one by the BBC, whose reporter was on the ground on the night of the incident. The BBC reporter, with every iota of authority said soldiers did not shoot at the protesters but in the air. The atmosphere was charged, she confirmed and the only casualty she saw was one she reckoned was down as a result of the stampede, not from gunshots.

Interestingly, there appears a certain general public disposition to the Lekki episode, which is averse to alternative viewpoints and always wants the story told in a certain slant. This also explains why this particular public would embrace and celebrate the otherwise ‘lazy CNN report’ and discountenance the one by BBC, even though it was an eyewitness account.

In the final analysis, all sides must be mindful of the fact that there’s a judicial panel of inquiry, which is already looking into the matter and whose membership cuts across all interests. Perhaps, it’s only sensible to allow the panel to finish its assignment and stop haranguing everyone to buy into a particular version of the Lekki episode. After all, the jury is still out.

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