About a week ago, the Nigerian Army launched a campaign that was to begin on the 20th October 2020 and tagged it Operation Crocodile Smile VI. The operation was declared as an effort to tackle fake news and misinformation in the online news space.
Many Nigerians condemned such an operation as needless especially coming at such a time when the #EndSARS protests nationwide were picking momentum. Many people smelled foul play.
Read more about #EndSARS
Then ironically, it would happen that the Nigerian Army instead found itself spreading propaganda aimed at casting itself in a good light while discrediting some true information found online.
A day after the #LekkiMassacre, the Nigerian Army began a campaign aimed at denouncing the various tweets and videographic material showing that the Army really carried out the massacre. The Nigerian Army particularly went on a spree of emblazoning “Fake News” on a number of tweets shared by Nigerians on social media.
The Narrative: The Army went on a rampage to counter the narrative without providing alternative evidence that the shooting at Lekki did not happen at all.
On Thursday, 22nd October 2020, at a press briefing by the Defence spokesman, Major General John Eneche, told newsmen that the photos and videos going around on social media were doctored. He also claimed that in-house analysis is still being done by a team at the defence headquarters.
The Hard Facts: However, the more provable fact is that live videos which were live-streamed at the scene, during the #LekkiMassacre cannot be ‘photoshopped’ as claimed by the Army. Livestreamed videos on Instagram can only happen in real-time, and can also be recorded by participants who are watching.
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Meanwhile, independent analysis of videos and pictures by organisations shows that the evidence circulating of the massacre was real. HumAngle, did an imaging analysis which was powered by computer algorithms and presented a position which countered that of the police.
HumAngle found out that the exact position of trees and monuments in previous pictures taken at the protest ground at the Lekki toll gate correlates with the ones taken where the Army was seen opening fire on the unarmed civilians who defied an imminent curfew.
Additionally, after a tour by the Southwest governors of the Lekki toll gate and other vandalised properties in Lagos on Sunday, the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu admitted on a live interview on CNN that soldiers were actually on the ground during the shooting, the #LekkiMassacre.
Bottom line: All of these hard facts emphasizes the point that the Nigerian Army and the Defence Headquarters were only telling untruths about the #LekkiMassacre of 20th October 2020.
Featured Image Source: Daily Post NG
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