For long, journalists have relied on eyewitnesses’ accounts for a good deal of their reportage. During the violence that erupted in the wake of the #EndSARS protests in Abuja, several ‘eyewitnesses’ on social media claimed they had seen churches and mosques torched. Those reports, as Daily Trust finds out, are far from the truth.
As the dust raised by the #EndSARS protests settles, government and private citizens have started counting their losses. The peaceful protests calling for an end to police brutality veered into violence when it was hijacked by hoodlums who attacked protesters.
Amidst the violence, there were claims of the crises degenerating into a religious conflict with the media awash with reports of churches and mosques burnt in some communities.
Abuja, the seat of power, had its share of violence and according to eyewitnesses, police highhandedness in dispersing protesters and the free rein of allegedly sponsored hoodlums led to a breakdown of law and order.
The profiling of hoodlums in Abuja as Hausa-Fulani while those in Lagos as simply thugs at first threatened the united voice with which the youth-led protest vented its anger on police brutality.
But the simmering anger that brought the youth to the street could not be slaked by pockets of divisive comments.