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EndSARS Report: Nigeria Wants CNN Sanctioned

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The Federal Government says the CNN report on the hoax Lekki Toll Gate killings is “fake, disservice to journalism profession’’ and calls for sanction against the international news organisation.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the call on Thursday in Abuja at a media briefing on the EndSARS protest and its aftermath.

The minister said the CNN goofed in its preconceived stance that the soldiers who were deployed to Lekki Toll Gate shot at protesters, killing some of them.

He said the media outfit relied heavily on unverified and possibly-doctored videos, as well as information sourced from questionable sources, to reach its conclusion.

“Like everyone else, I watched the CNN report and I must tell you that it reinforces the disinformation that is going round, and it is blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organisation.

“CNN engaged in incredible sensationalism and did a great disservice to itself and to journalism.

“In the first instance, CNN, which touted its report as an exclusive investigative report, sadly relied on the same videos that have been circulating on social media, without verification.

“This is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that,’’ he said.

Mohammed said the CNN reporter and cameraman were not on ground during the incidence but obtained second hand information without authentication to reach its conclusion.

“CNN merely said the videos were ”obtained by CNN”, without saying wherefrom and whether or not it authenticated them.

“Were CNN reporters and cameramen at the Lekki Toll Gate that evening?

“If the answer is No, on what basis are they reporting? Relying on second or third hand information and presenting it as ”CNN Investigation”?

“Is this what is expected from an international media organization or any serious news organization?

“If CNN had done its investigation properly, it would have known how fake news and disinformation were trending during the EndSARS crisis.’’ he said

The minister said the CNN failed to balance its story by showing the compelling testimony of Brig.-Gen. IbrahimTaiwo before the Judicial Panel in Lagos.

He said the one-sided reporting was unexpected from an international and serious media organisation like the CNN.

Besides, Mohammed said in airing its so-called investigative report, CNN forgot that it tweeted, from its verified twitter handle on Oct. 23 that the military killed 38 people when it opened fire on peaceful protesters.

“Less than a month later, the same CNN, in what it called an EXCLUSIVE report based on a rehash of old, unverified videos, was only able to confirm that one person died in the same incident,’’ he said.

Mohammed said the CNN could have taken cue from the BBC which did a professional report on the incidence.

“Talking about the BBC, a reporter with the BBC’s Pidgin Service, Damilola Banjo, was at Lekki Toll Gate protest ground that night.

“She was quoted as saying soldiers were indeed at the Toll Gate but they shot ‘’sporadically into the air’’ and not at the protesters. CNN that was not at the scene reported otherwise,’’ he said.

The minister contended that showing injured or dead protesters in videos with questionable sources is no conclusive proof that anyone was shot dead at the Lekki Toll Gate.

“Afterall, 57 civilians died nationwide during the protest.

“Did CNN know that? So showing a dead body or an injured protester is no conclusive proof that any protester was shot dead at the Lekki Toll Gate.

“In its jaundiced reporting, CNN was blind to the fact that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed in unprovoked attacks.

“Obviously, CNN did not consider the security agents. human enough.

“Conveniently, CNN, in its ‘investigation’, was blind to the wanton destruction of property in Lagos and across the country,’’ he said.

The minister said the CNN was also blind to the burning of police stations and vehicles all over the country.

He said the media outfit, rather. went to town with unverified social media footages, in its desperation to prove that people were killed at the Lekki Toll Gate.

The minister insisted that the military did not shoot at protesters at Lekki Toll Gate rather they fired blank ammunition in the air.

He challenged anybody who knows anyone that was killed at Lekki Toll Gate to head to the Judicial Panel with conclusive evidence of such.

The CNN in its report had concluded that soldiers shot live bullets at the unarmed protesters at Lekki Toll Gate,

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Rwanda Cancels Plan to Increase RwandAir Fleet

The government says expansion of the airline’s fleet will wait until business goes back to normal.

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Rwanda has announced that it is putting on hold the acquisition of new airplanes for its national carrier RwandAir, mainly due to the impact of Covid-19 on businesses.


The additional planes were to enable RwandAir serve the increasingly opened skies through the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA).


Due to the global pandemic, RwandAir was forced to suspend operations following the lockdown in March, and only resumed operations in August when the country started a gradual re-opening of the economy.


The airline has gradually re-opened routes, though passenger occupancy remains low as some parts of the world remain in a lockdown while in other countries, travel remain restricted.


The government says expansion of the airline’s fleet will wait until business goes back to normal.


RwandAir currently has 12 airplanes including two Boeing 737-700NG, two Bombardier CRJ-900 NextGen, four Boeing 737-800NG, two Bombardier Q-400 NextGen, one Airbus A330 – 300, and one Airbus A330 – 200.


Before the pandemic hit, the airline had planned to lease two Airbus A330neo and two Boeing 737 Max 8.

Read also: Rwanda, Qatar sign aviation pact


Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete says “Even the planes we have are not being used to the maximum due to the Covid-19. We have to wait until the passengers are free to keep travelling in a safer environment, so that we can now expand as we cannot expand in this environment.”


He spoke during a press briefing on Friday after signing a bilateral air services agreement (BASA) with the Republic of Korea, bringing the total to 101 BASAs within and outside Africa. Out of these, 52 have been ratified, 17 signed, and 32 initiated.


According to the airline’s earlier plans, the A330neos were to be deployed on long-haul routes to Guangzhou, China, and New York, as well as boost capacity to Dubai, Lagos, and Johannesburg.


RwandAir recently secured clearance to serve New York on code-share and wet-lease basis; an arrangement where one airline provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance to another airline or other type of business acting as a broker of air travel (the lessee), which pays by hours operated.


The 737 Max 8s were scheduled to serve Tel Aviv in Israel, and other regional flights such as Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.


Despite the halting of airplane acquisitions, the government says infrastructure investment to support the aviation sector will continue.
Qatar is set to acquire 60 per cent stake in RwandAir and is expected to complete construction of Bugesera Airport.


According to Gatete, negotiations with Qatar have advanced, and inking the deal between the two parties should take place anytime soon, under which the construction work should take off.

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Senegal Football Legend Papa Bouba Diop Dies Aged 42

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In the first game of the Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup, Senegal dazed colonial masters, France and registered their name in history as one of Africa’s greatest teams. The man who scored the lone goal that condemned the French to defeat was Papa Bouba Diop, who died on Sunday.

Diop, who played for Portsmouth, West Ham and Fulham in the Premier League and RC Lens in the Ligue 1 was a key member of the Senegal team that made it to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup.

World football governing body, FIFA announced the former Teranga Lion’s death on Sunday via a tweet.

Diop joined Portsmouth in 2007 and won the FA Cup one year later in a team that was managed by Harry Redknapp.

He thereafter had stints with Greek club AEK Athens and Birmingham City in the Championship.

Diop’s former clubs, Fulham and Portsmouth have expressed their devastation about the news.

Recall that the world was thrown into mourning last week when global football legend and World Cup hero, Diego Armando Maradona died at the age of 60.

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President Ghazouani Doubles Pension, Allowances on Mauritania’s 60th Independence

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President Mohamed Cheikh El Ghazouani, has announced 10 social measures for the most vulnerable segments of the population in a message to mark the celebration of the 60th independence anniversary of the country.

They include a 100 per cent increase in the basic pension for all pensioners, a doubling of the pension of widows and their health insurance benefits and the monthly payment of retirement pension.

There is also the generalization of the chalk allowance to include all primary and secondary school principals granted over a period of 12 months instead of the previous nine months.

The President also announced an increase in the rural allowance and the supervisory allowance for inspectors of basic and secondary technical education to the tune of 10,000 old ouguiyas (about US$27).

Others include a 30 per cent increase in the salaries of health workers and a generalization of the risk premium to all health personnel.

In addition, there is a 50 per cent increase in the care of patients with kidney failure and people living with disabilities, and the granting of monthly cash transfers of 15,000 old ouguiyas (US$ 40) to them.

Health insurance for the benefit of all persons living with a disability and the payment of monthly cash transfers of 20,000 old ouguiyas (US$ 54) for disabled children are the latest measures announced by the Mauritanian president.

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