(Emmanuel Afonne, NAN)
A political interest group, No Alternative To Buhari-Osinbajo 2019 (NATBO 2019), has described the Cable News Network (CNN) acclaimed investigative report on the #EndSARS protests at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, as lopsided and unbalanced.
A statement issued by the group on Saturday through its National Coordinator, Vincent Uba, noted that there were lots of unanswered questions in the CNN report which made it to be lopsided.
Uba stated that the group was totally against the activities of some Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) personnel, but wondered why the EndSARS protesters continued with their agitation even after President Muhammadu Buhari acceded to their requests.
The NABTO Coordinator added that CNN would have gone further to investigate if there were other motives behind the protests other than the call for the disbandment of SARS.
‘The questions now are, why restrict the investigations on the Lekki saga? Why did CNN not investigate what happened in other parts of the country, where prior to the Lekki episode, witnessed lootings, destruction of lives and property by the protesters?
‘Why didn’t CNN investigate the activities of the protesters who were ironically doing what they were protesting against prior to the Lekki issue?
‘Did CNN not know that innocent persons were denied their fundamental freedom of movement and prevented from carrying on with their businesses to fend for their livelihood?
‘Allegations abound that the protests were sponsored and financed by persons who wanted to destabilise the government. Why didn’t CNN beam its investigative searchlight in this direction?
‘Corporate organisations’ facilities, government parastatals and individual property destroyed, run into trillions of naira and a lot of persons rendered jobless as a result.
‘Couldn’t CNN have investigated this aspect as part of its corporate civic responsibility? They should conclude their investigations,’ the statement quoted Uba as saying.
According to Uba, the Federal Government’s swift disbandment of the SARS outfit and its promise of comprehensive police reform, in response to the demands of the protesters should have earned the government applauses rather than condemnations.
Uba added: ‘NATBO 2019 takes is that CNN should have undertaken a thorough and in-depth investigation of the #EndSARS protests across the country with a view to unravelling the real motives of the protesters.
‘Again, CNN only relied on the information supplied by some of the protesters with videos that are difficult to ascertain their authenticity.
‘Being in a hurry to broadcast such information could be interpreted as a ploy by CNN to smear the government and pitch the citizens against it, thus worsening the already precarious situation.’
He urged CNN to always see itself as an unbiased media watchdog of the society and should also try not to be seen as one of those outfits that take pride in half-baked investigations.