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Lekki Massacre is fake news, reason to regulate social media – Lai Mohammed

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Lai Mohammed on Monday falsely claimed that there was no single case of fatality in the deadly Nigerian Army operation in Lagos on October 20.

Determined to push the government’s dangerous propaganda to the mainstream, the information minister rejected evidence from hundreds of witnesses, local and international organisations that there were multiple casualties.

“There was no massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate. The only massacre that took place during the EndSARS protest was the social media massacre,” Mr. Mohammed said at a meeting with South-east leaders on Saturday, Ripples Nigeria reported.

Mr. Mohammed continued: “Fake news was used; they used social media to spread what did not happen, which led to reprisals.”

The controversial sexagenarian followed his false premise with yet another call for regulation of social media, a campaign he had refused to back down on despite widespread condemnation.

“There must be social media regulation,” Mr. Mohammed said at the event as reported by Ripples. “But social media regulation does not mean stifling the media, it does not mean shutting down the social media, it means responsive use of the social media.”

“Fake news can shake the cause of the world,” he said without realising that he was himself propagating fake news by claiming that no lives were lost in the October 20 military attack at Lekki Toll Gate.

Mr. Mohammed’s claim could undercut even the position of his own cabinet colleagues. It came barely days after Tunde Fashola and other ministers of the Southwest inspected the scene of the massacre with calls for an investigation.

Amnesty International reported at least 10 protesters were killed by the military in the operation, one person more than the nine bodies that soldiers unsuccessfully tried to hand over to the police on the night of the massacre.

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