Insecurity: Minister blames media for Nigeria’s poor image

The federal government has accused the media of dismissively reporting its efforts in fighting the security challenges in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the media is the reason Nigerians in diaspora, investors and the international community at large are wary of visiting the country.

The minister said this at a ceremony to rename the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Headquarters building after the late Wada Maida in Abuja on Thursday.

He said whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today mostly due to the “unflattering” portrayal of the country by the country’s media.

“If one picks up most newspapers, watches most television stations or listens to most radio stations in Nigeria today, he or she will be right to think Nigeria is a country at war. Yes, we have challenges, especially in the area of security,” he said.

“But this Administration has not only acknowledged these challenges, it is earnestly tackling the challenges.”

He referenced efforts of the military in tackling terrorism in the North-West and North-East.

“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,” he claimed.

“This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic.

He used the instance of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited him in Abuja to describe how the country is being seen on the outside.

“They said some of their colleagues who would have come to Nigeria for their programme, tagged ”A Week in & For Nigeria”, during the month of July, did not come out of fear of the security situation in Nigeria.

“However, those who made the trip said they travelled to their hometowns across the country and returned to Abuja safely. If Nigerians in diaspora can be afraid to come to their country, imagine how foreigners, including investors and tourists,will feel about coming to the country,” Mr Mohammed said.

He accused some media organisations of reporting “fake news”, and said they never have the decency to retract such stories and apologise.

“They simply move on as if nothing has happened.

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.

“Even if you don’t want to encourage the men and women in uniform fighting to keep us safe, please don’t discourage them with negative reporting.”

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