Lai Mohammed: Media Is to Blame for Nigeria’s Image Problem.
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s communications minister, has blamed the country’s bad foreign image on media activities.
According to the minister, “any image crisis Nigeria is experiencing now is primarily owing to the country’s media’s negative representation of the country.”
“If one picks up most newspapers, watches most television stations, or listens to most radio stations in Nigeria today, he or she will be correct in believing that Nigeria is a country at war,” Mr Mohammed remarked on Thursday at the headquarters of the News Agency of Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on the other hand, has frequently been chastised for demonizing the country and its people in front of international media.
Mr. Buhari stated in 2018 during a meeting with world executives at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London that the bulk of Nigerian youngsters are lazy and ignorant.
Mr Buhari reiterated his notion that Nigerians are to blame for the country’s economic troubles in a recent interview with local channel Arise News TV.
If the youths want to get work, they should “behave themselves,” because their criticism of his administration scares investors away from the country. He cited the #EndSARS protests which rocked the country in October 2020 as one of those activities that cast his regime in bad light.
In making the assertion, the president took no cognisance of his regime’s low human rights ratings and incoherent economic policy.
Mr Mohammed said the media only gave perfunctory attention to the successes of the military in quelling separatist agitations in the South-East and South-West, and the current campaign against bandits in the North-West.
“Our security agencies have also successfully tackled the separatists in the South-East and South-West and the militants in the South-South.
“Unfortunately, these efforts have only been perfunctorily reflected in the reportage of the security challenges that we face.
“This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic,’’ he said.
Many of the military campaigns against self-determination groups have, however, been criticised by local and international rights bodies for blatant abuses.
Mr Mohammed emphasised that the media must be fair in its reportage.
“We are not saying the media should not report on the security challenges we face.
“All we are saying is, be fair and report accurately the efforts being made by the state and federal governments to tackle the challenges,” he said.