Over the years Nigeria has been subjected to a wave of negative publicity both at home and abroad. This detrimental trend has reached such level that it demands our immediate attention and self reflection. It is time for Nigerians to come together and address this issue, realizing the harm it inflicts upon our nation’s image and the collective psyche of our people.
Firstly, we must acknowledge the unfortunate reality of negative publicity originating from within our own borders. Nigerians, both at home and abroad, have been contributing to this detrimental narrative through various means. Instead of uniting and promoting the positives about our country, we often find ourselves engaged in internal divisions, spreading unfounded rumors, and even labeling our elected leaders in derogatory terms. This behavior does not only undermines the credibility of our democracy but also continues a cycle of negativity that serves no constructive purpose.
One example of such negativity is the baseless accusations of our newly elected President being a drug dealer. While it is essential to express reservations about the electoral process if there are legitimate concerns, labeling the President after he had been elected with such claims which we very well know that whether or not they’re right, it will damage our collective interests. It did not take long for international press to re-emphasize the Narrative that our people have been promoting that “Nigerians Just elected a Drug Lord” as President. Suddenly, Nigerians in South Africa were being abused and profiled as same. Nigerians living in South Africa till date are facing all forms of discrimination. We should remember that criticizing constructively and seeking accountability can be more effective in bringing about the necessary changes.
I believe whatever circumstances we face is as a result of our collective consciousness, not until we are enlightened enough to identify good leaders and come together to vote them – whatever be the decisions of our electoral process is the result of our collective consciousness. The Leader we choose is a functio of we the people. What we call our country is a function of who we are. Leaders in western nations and have been fingered in worse crimes but you never see it anywhere. Some countries make it a rule for its citizens not to discuss serious national issues in public domain. The countries image and reputation comes first before anything else. You only see their leaders resign when it has become a global issue, just to respect their nation. If washing our dirty linen in public does not solve our problems, why do we keep doing it.
Moreover, Nigerian blogs and media outlets have contributed to the amplification of negative narratives surrounding our country. Sensationalism and exaggeration have become prevalent, resulting in the portrayal of an inaccurate and unfavorable image of Nigeria. It is essential for media organizations to prioritize responsible journalism, offering balanced coverage that highlights both the nation’s positive aspects and the challenges we face.
In relation to the recent policy change that restricts international students from bringing their dependents to the UK, Nigerian media has personalized the news and even altered the headline to give the false impression that only Nigeria has been singled out by the UK government’s ban. Again, Just yesterday, a Nigerian was interviewed on BBC when he revealed reasons behind Nigerians trooping to the UK through students visas.
He faced severe backlash from Nigerians. He was being as unpatriotic for speaking negatively about Nigeria and Nigerians, leading to significant harm to the country’s reputation, particularly in the immigration sector , especially concerning the UK. Already the news buzz thereafter was about Nigeria and immigration, believe me this will also begin to affect Nigerians traveling to other countries . The young man and Nigerians alike who lambasted him online are all products of negative publicity . Majority of Nigerians who shared their concerns did not do out of love for Nigeria’s to be better so they will not have to leave, but because he has closed the supposed road for so many more to escape. It is not good for us as a people. Even a Nigerian President once called it’s youths lazy before a global press and audience – that’s unpatriotic from the number one man.
We should understand that our actions only helped to amplify the narrative. In as much as whatever he said might be false, we should remember that a lot of countries do worse. But why are we so loud to denigrate our own,put our national issues out there for the strangers to feast on. Gun violence in USA and other crimes this year 2023 has risen like no other, but the reportage is quite low because of the love for their country. Should this have been Nigeria, our people and media will make it a global discuss thereby worsening the already bad situation and further damaging the image of the country.
The impact of negative trends across digital spaces cannot be underestimated. In today’s interconnected world, information travels rapidly, and the negative portrayal of Nigeria reflects globally. We must recognize the potential consequences of such digital publicity and strive to counteract it with narratives that showcase the true diversity, resilience, and achievements of Nigerians.
Popular social media blogs with a significant global following are spreading negative publicity about Nigeria and its affairs. This widespread exposure leads to unfair labeling and stereotyping of our country. It is important to address this issue to avoid blaming others for the consequences of such negative publicity.
Government and security parastatals, including the police and EFCC, often use the digital space to showcase suspects. While this may aim to gain public sympathy or demonstrate their effectiveness, the negative impacts outweigh any advantages. It is crucial for these agencies to understand the detrimental effects of their actions. it is necessary to tackle the negative effects caused by popular blogs promoting negative perceptions of Nigeria and the utilization of the digital space by government and security agencies. This will help prevent unfair labeling and ensure a more balanced representation of our nation.
Nigeria’s businesses also suffer from negative perceptions, both domestically and internationally. This hinders investment opportunities and economic growth. It is high time we recognize the potential of our homegrown enterprises and support their growth, creating an environment conducive to their success. By fostering a positive mentality towards Nigerian businesses, we can improve our economic prospects and attract more foreign investment.
Additionally, Nigerians must be mindful of the negative publicity that arises from actions that paint us as fraudsters. While it is unfair to generalize the actions of a few individuals to an entire nation, it is essential for us to collectively condemn such activities and work towards fostering an environment of trust, integrity, and transparency.
The negative publicity about issues of economic interest, when projected on the global stage, can have far-reaching consequences. We must understand the potential impact of our words and actions on international perceptions of Nigeria. Constructive dialogue, responsible reporting, and collaborative efforts are needed to address these issues and foster a positive narrative about our nation.
In conclusion, it is high time for Nigerians to recognize the destructive nature of negative publicity and work collectively to counteract it. By promoting a positive image of Nigeria, celebrating our achievements, and constructively addressing our challenges, we can reshape the narrative about our country. It is through unity, responsibility, and empathy that we can inspire change and foster a brighter future for Nigeria and its people. I LOVE NIGERIA. NIGERIA WILL BE GREAT AGAIN.
Oberaifo Udoh who has shared his concern for Nigeria is an experienced Entrepreneur, Business Management Consultant, and Strategist with a remarkable 13-year track record. He holds a SMEDAN license as a Business Development Service Provider and is recognized as a digital transformational leader for Nigerian and African businesses. Hailing from Edo state, Oberaifo currently serves as the Group Managing Director of VINES REALTY, a rapidly expanding international real estate company located in Lekki, Lagos state.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Oberaifo is a passionate humanitarian and serves as the President of Edo Arise Initiative. He is also an accomplished writer, a compelling public speaker, and the lead consultant of Oberaifo Udoh Consults and Vines Realty Advisory and Consultancy Services Ltd.
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