7th December, 2020
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Several fake videos of a second wave of #EndSARS protests flood the internet on Monday raising tension of another round of unrest in the country.
Unnamed groups had vowed to begin another round of protests today across the nation. Some state governors like Yahaya Bello of Kogi State had warned that his state would not tolerate any further protest and that those seeking for a change should use the 2023 elections to do so.
In Lagos, the Police Command had warned and vowed to deal ruthlessly with anyone trying to resuscitate the #EndSARS protest again, after the unquantifiable damage done to the state in the aftermath of last protest in October.
Several State Police Commands have been on alert since Sunday warning protesters to stay away as they would not condone another round of violence anymore.
But on Monday, several fake videos of purported protests in Lagos, Abuja and some other places flooded the social media, especially twitter to give impression that protests actually took place.
In Lagos, there was a fake video of purported protest at the Lekki Tollgate. The video has gone viral on social media.
The Lagos State Police Command has debunked any protest at the tollgate, meaning that the video was fake.
A twitter user corroborated the police’s assertion that there was no protest at the Lekki tollgate.
I just passed by the #Lekki toll gate. There's no #EndSARS protest here and the police are currently stationed there in their numbers 🤦♀️#Dec7 #protest #EndSarsNow #channelstv pic.twitter.com/p84i0e7FXG
— Gracie🤍👸🏽 (@gracie_techie) December 7, 2020
It was a video shot during the last #EndSARS protest before the alleged soldiers’ shooting of protesters at the tollgate.
There was another video of purported protest at Ladipo-Palm Avenue in Mushin, Lagos. This is another fake video as there was no protest in Lagos today according to the police.
Bellow is the fake video
I learnt this was from somewhere around Ladipo-Palm Avenue in Mushin, Lagos.
— Henry O #EndSARS (@MrOnos147) December 7, 2020
According to Muyiwa Adejobi, the attention of the Lagos State Police Command had been drawn to a viral video of a protest at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos State, purported to have been staged today 7th December, 2020.
“The Command wishes to debunk the fake video that has been circulated to create tension and destabilise security network in the state. The video was one of the viral videos released during the recent violent EndSAR protest before the Lekki Tollgate plaza was set ablaze by the violent protesters on 21st October, 2020.
Below is the fake video:
“The command therefore urges the general public to regard the video as baseless and mischievous. The command also wishes to appeal to the general public to remain calm and go about their lawful businesses as the police is prepared to deal decisively, within the ambit of the law, with any act of lawlessness that could lead to break down of law and order in the state,” he said.
In Abuja, a purported fake video resurfaced of a protest on Monday which did not happen. The fake video was posted by Aisha Yesufu #Endsars. Below is the fake video giving impression of a protest in Abuja.
Retweet aggressively..Until you kill us all we not backing down fresh #EndSARS protest erupted in Abuja this morning.#EndBadGovernanceinNIGERIA #Dec7 #protest #LekkiMassacre #ASUU #Bubhari #Abuja #Lagos pic.twitter.com/Bv4pDbI17E
— Aisha Yesufu #Endsars (@EndsarsAisha) December 7, 2020
The several fake videos and photos that flood internet on Monday have raised questions as to the motive of the #EndSARS protesters. It is clear that the protest is being driven by arrays of fake news, with ulterior motives to deceive the public, with the sponsors driving towards an agenda.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed had recently lamented that the rate at which social media is spreading fake news was alarming, especially as it aggravated the October #EndSARS protests, saying that the time had come that the social media must be regulated.
“The issue of how fake news and disinformation aggravated the EndSARS crisis has dominated our previous meetings with various stakeholders. We have no doubt that fake news and disinformation fuelled the crisis.
“But we are also not surprised. This is because, since 2017, we have been raising the alarm about the dangers of social media abuse. In 2017, we dedicated that year’s National Council on Information to the issue of fake news, hate speech and disinformation.
“The following year, in 2018, we launched the Now, our fears about the abuse of social media, and specifically the dangers posed by fake news and disinformation, have come to pass.
“During the protest and the subsequent violence, fake news and disinformation were the order of the day. Social media was used for mobilization, and it was also used to guide arsonists and looters to properties, both public and private, which were targeted for attack,” Mohammed lamented.
With the call of Mohammed, regulating the social media appears to be the key to halting rampaging fake news on the internet.