The Federal Government on Thursday insisted that there was no massacre when soldiers dispersed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos on October 20, 2020 as Nigerians and the international community are being made to believe.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this at a press conference in Abuja.
Mohammed who was joined at the briefing by heads of parastatals under his ministry attributed the reports of massacre to those he described as purveyors of fake news.
He said what was alleged to have happened could either be “social media massacre” or at best “massacre without bodies.”
The minister said, “While we await the judicial panel in Lagos to unravel what transpired at the Lekki Toll Gate, what we can say, based on testimonies available in the public space, is that the world may have just witnessed, for the very first time ever, a massacre without bodies!
“Some have tagged it ‘social media massacre.’ The testimony of Brig.-Gen, Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo of the Nigerian Army before the panel was compelling, and I am sure many of you have listened to or watched it.”
Relying heavily on Taiwo’s testimony, Mohammed insisted that soldiers at Lekki Toll Gate fired blank ammunition into the air and that could not have done any damage to the flesh, not to talk of killing anyone.
He challenged those who alleged massacre at the toll gate to appear before the judicial panel to the world or simply admit that they goofed.
The minister said, “Sadly, the purveyors of fake news and disinformation succeeded in deceiving the world that indeed there was mass killing in Lekki, even when, till date, not a single body has been produced and not a single family or relative has come out to say their child or ward was killed at Lekki.
“More surprising and irresponsible is the fact that some people have been calling for sanctions against Nigeria or against Nigerian government officials on the basis of a hoax.
“This is one of the dangers of fake news and disinformation. Once fake news is out, many run with it, without looking back, even when the truth is eventually revealed.
“We, therefore, want to use this opportunity to ask those who have alleged massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate to go to the judicial panel to present their evidence(s) to the world or simply admit that they have goofed.”