Abang Mercy, a Nigerian German based Journalist has hit out at the Nigerian government disinformation drive over the Lekki Toll Gate shooting of peaceful protesters by the men of the Nigerian Army.
On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, soldiers shot at #EndSars protesters that gathered at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State.
End Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is a social movement calling for good governance and an end to police brutality which had led to street demonstration. One of the rallying point for protesters is the Lekki Toll gate in Lagos state.
Days after the killing, alleged government paid handles had been going around questioning the killing of peaceful protesters in Lekki.
The Nigerian Army immediately after the shooting had described it as a fake news.
Maj. Gen. John Enenche, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations (DMO) without providing any evidence had stated during a press conference that the videos which surfaced online showing soldiers shooting at peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll was fake and either photoshopped or cropped.
Abang in a series of tweet titled Media Manipulation, said Media manipulation campaign is a a classic tactics of disinformation seen in authoritarian regimes and expect more of that strategy.
Her tweets read, “Media manipulation – You will question what you saw, you will think you are running mad. It is all in the PLAY BOOK and people will tweet “IF PEOPLE DIED”. Then you will question the reality of what you saw even more. Instead of Massacre, it will be called incident.”
“When they said they were launching a cyber war, it was to mess with your mind, it was to intentionally share “fake news” then discredit what they shared-then ask you to question what you consume more, you will even question the credibility of the images you took yourself.”
“Media manipulation campaign – a classic tactics of disinformation seen in authoritarian regimes and expect more of that strategy. It is a deliberate attempt to spread false information to sow doubts in your minds. Now you are asking yourself “Did Lekki really happen?”.
“They will fuck with your mind so much you will doubt your very existence, this is what it is about, and this is because they too understand democracy and freedom that comes with social media. Before now, they had “gate keepers” in the newsroom – all that is no more.”
“Keep in mind, they will “game” the algorithm too. In some cases there will be a “glitch” that tags your images “fake news”. They will fund global firms to lead the campaign and that my friend is the cyber-war they talked about. You are not mad, they’re fucking your mind.”