The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called on the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) to help counter the false narratives by secessionist groups, insurgents and anarchists who portray Nigeria in a bad light.
The Minister made the call in Abuja on Tuesday when he received members of NIDO, UK Chapter, on a courtesy visit.
“As an organized and well connected group, I implore 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 bad light.
”I have no doubt that you will take this call seriously and do everything in your power to change the narrative for the better,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said 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, he said, has been doing a good job in coordinating and providing an organized system of collaborations of Nigerians in Diaspora.
He slammed some Nigerians in Diaspora who are helping to fund the nefarious activities of secessionist groups that are campaigning around the world to propagate their fake narratives about the country.
“Instead of contributing their own quota, all you hear from a section of Nigerians in Diaspora and their allies back home are fake narratives and untrue allegations of religious persecution, political marginalization, human rights abuses, etc. These are baseless and false,” the Minister said.
Acknowledging that Nigeria is facing some challenges including dwindling revenue, he said in spite of the challenges, the Administration has recorded tremendous achievements in the area of infrastructure – roads, rail, power, housing, dams, etc. and agriculture, where the country is closer than ever to achieving self-sufficiency in major staples.
Alhaji Mohammed also listed the fight against corruption, which the Administration is prosecuting in an institutionalized manner, as well as the revamping of the economy, especially through diversification, as some of the achievements of the Buhari Administration.
He said as part of deliberate effort to counter anti-government propaganda, which is aimed at drowning the successes recorded by the administration, the government is scaling up diplomatic efforts to reverse the trend.
“On our part as government, we are currently re-engineering and ramping up our diplomatic efforts to counter and reverse the narrative, in addition to countering pervasive anti-government propaganda,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman, NIDO, UK Chapter, Mr. Chibuzo Ubochi, commended President Buhari for officially gazetting 25th July every year as the National Diaspora Day.
He called on the National Assembly to fast track the passage of the bill that would enable Nigerians in Diaspora to vote and be voted for during elections, in view of their numerous contributions to the Nigerian economy.