The federal government has decried the spate of fake narratives and untrue allegations of religious persecution, political marginalisation, human rights abuses by section of Nigerians in Diaspora and their allies back home against the current administration.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this when he received members of the Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), UK chapter, in Abuja on Tuesday, said: “patriots do not badmouth their country around the world.”
The minister, however, appealed to NIDO to usurp the initiatives and narratives from those who are bent on painting Nigeria bad amongst the comity of nations.
According to him, “Yes, we have challenges, especially in the area of insecurity. But this administration has not only acknowledged these challenges but is also earnestly tackling them. I make bold to say that no government in the history of this country has done so much with so little.
“The administration came in at a time that the country has lost one-third of its revenue, due to a drastic crash in oil prices. Despite that, the administration has recorded tremendous achievements in the area of infrastructure – roads, rail, power, housing, dams, etc.
“Agriculture, where the country is closer than ever to achieving self-sufficiency in major staples, the fight against corruption, which the Administration is prosecuting in an institutionalized manner as well as the revamping of the economy, especially through diversification.”
Alhaji Mohammed, however, called on NIDO to leverage its contacts in government circles, parliamentary groups, and global Think Tanks in world capitals to help change the narrative and sweep the carpet off the feet of secessionist groups, insurgents, and anarchists who are bent on pushing false narratives to portray Nigeria in a bad light.
The minister said he does not doubt that the Diaspora organisation will take his call seriously and do everything in its power to change the narrative for the better.
He said it was alarming and disappointing that some Nigerians in Diaspora still rely on platforms that peddle fake news and misinformation about Nigeria.
The Minister said as a government, they are currently re-engineering and ramping up diplomatic efforts to counter and reverse the narrative, in addition to countering pervasive anti-government propaganda.
Alhaji Mohammed said each time President Muhammadu Buhari travels outside the country, he has made the engagement with Nigerians in his host country a regular affair, just as the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has always ensured that it interact with Nigerians when it travel
outside the country for official purposes.
Unfortunately, he said, the avoidable division among Nigerians in Diaspora in some countries has hampered such engagements.
He, however, said the federal government will not relent in seeking out and engaging with patriotic Nigerians in Diaspora.
According to him, “The Buhari Administration considers Nigerians in Diaspora as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project hence has done the unprecedented by establishing the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), which has been doing a good job in coordinating and providing an organized system of collaborations of Nigerians in Diaspora. Thanks to the commission, issues affecting Nigerians in Diaspora have been receiving prompt attention.
“NIDCOM has also ensured that Nigerians in Diaspora are well informed about the activities of the government. It is therefore alarming and disappointing that some Nigerians in Diaspora still rely on platforms that peddle fake news
and misinformation about Nigeria.”
He also commended NIDO’s patriotism and steadfastness, especially its initiatives aimed at shining a positive light on Nigeria, and celebrating the country and contributing towards a better Nigeria.
“We at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture have continued to showcase the achievements of this administration, to mark the second anniversary of the administration’s second term, we produced a three-part documentary that showcased the achievements in the various sectors, which we ran on television stations across the country.
“We have now broken the documentary into one-minute clips that are currently running on television stations and social media platforms. We are ready to make these clips available to you,” he added.