The Federal Government has accused the media of dishonesty and underplaying the successes being recorded by the military in the fight against terrorism and banditry.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday in Abuja at the renaming of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters building after the Late Wada Maida.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that Maida, a pioneer member of staff of NAN was at different times, the Editor-in-Chief, the Managing Director and Chairman, Governing Board of the Agency before his death.
Regarding the battle against insecurity, the Minister explained that the string of victories by the troops which has resulted in the arrest and surrender of bandits is being underreported by sections of the media.
“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 lamented.
Lai cited an example of how damaging the underreporting is to the image of the country.
“Let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited me in my office here in Abuja.
“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,” he said.
The minister asserted “whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today is mostly due to the unflattering portrayal of the country by the country’s media”.
Consequently, he urged the media to be fair in its duties as the country continues the war against the scourge.
“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.”
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