Rebranding Nigeria Through Positive Reporting

                             Mr. Matthew Ibadin

By Matthew Ibadin

What have you done to make Nigeria better? In shaping the narrative of our beloved nation, we must recognize the profound impact of media portrayal on global perceptions. Our country, with its cultural diversity and breathtaking landscapes, often remains unseen by those beyond our borders, who rely solely on media representations.

Therefore, it is imperative that we exercise caution in not only how we report news but also in how we articulate our national identity to the world.

Why is it easy to condemn Nigeria? While individuals may adopt different nationalities, the indomitable Nigerian spirit crosses through our veins, propelling us to transcend expectations. Nigeria is home to industrious and resilient citizens, and the responsibility of nation-building extends beyond political leaders to encompass every member of society, including the media.

How many media practitioners and  Nigerians have written positive articles about the greatness of Nigeria? It is a question we must all ponder, as the duty to uplift our nation lies in each of our hands.

How many of us have driver’s license? These seemingly small personal milestones reflect our commitment to progress and order. They are symbols of our individual responsibility and contributions to the nation’s well-being. Just as we strive for personal achievements, we must also strive for collective progress. How many of us obey traffic laws? The disregard of simple things as the traffic lights shows our level of patriotism to the law and order of our beloved country.

Our movie actors, actresses and artistes are making us proud abroad, with talents like Burna Boy, Davido, and Wizkid showcasing the richness of our culture on global stages. These individuals are ambassadors of our nation’s potentials and creativity, reminding us of the greatness we can achieve.

How many of us have the Nigerian flag in our homes and offices which is a symbol of patriotism?
Our forefathers have died, and we have inherited this country. We should work hard to make it better, honoring their legacy and striving to create a prosperous future. Nigeria is a divine project entrusted to us, endowed with abundant natural resources and awe-inspiring landscapes. We must steward these blessings with utmost care, fueled by unwavering patriotism and determination. Failure is not an option; our commitment to Nigeria runs deep.

Despite the barrage of negative portrayals from international media, we have remained silent for too long. The foreign media mostly promotes negative news about Nigeria. Should we also do the same? It is time to reclaim our narrative, to showcase the true essence of our nation, and to counter misconceptions with pride and authenticity. Are we going to allow our colonial masters and foreigners to write our history for us? If you have written an article about the good you see in Nigeria recently, may God bless you. If you have not, please you need to do one and publish it henceforth. We can utilize social media and print media platforms to promote the interest of our great nation. Our patriotism must shine through, as we recognize that the future of Nigeria rests in our hands alone.

We must not use negativity to chase away foreign investors, our anger must be properly channeled to the genuine issues that are confronting Nigeria namely: Electricity and Education just to name a few.

Electricity: We can call a national forum regarding how to solve the problem of electricity in Nigeria and we must pursue the goal with vigor and patriotism.

It is high time that Nigerians at home and abroad use their positions to change the narratives. The media must push for a law through the National Assembly that prevents senior government officials, appointees and other senior public office holders from using generators and/or other alternatives to National Power in their Offices and homes except law enforcement agencies.

Having Constant power supply is not rocket science. It is time to demand for it and have it so that investors and Artisans who have been negatively affected and chased out of business can return to their businesses, increase employment opportunities, production and ultimately, grow the economy.

Education: There should be an educational summit where the education of our children is can be discussed. The media should ask and demand that the National Assembly pass a law that prohibits elected officials, political appointees and civil servants from sending their children/wards to private schools/institutions rather they must attend public schools and institutions because they are public officials. The government has failed to resolve and find a long-lasting solution to the unending face-off with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), simply because most of the government officials and politicians have their children/wards schooling outside the shores of Nigeria and have very little or no concerns for the education system here.

The media must continuously demand for a quality education system until it becomes competitive and sit side by side with foreign educational systems. This Bill needs to be passed into law before 2027 general elections.

With constant power supply, I can assure you that the rate of crime will drastically reduce as millions of our youths will become gainfully engaged. The young beggars on the streets yesterday are now the kidnappers of today. The artisans of yesterday have also become the criminals of today because of how electricity has destroyed their source of livelihood and most companies have folded up because of epileptic power supply.

People who have lost their jobs also engage in crime and without constant electricity the security challenges would be difficult to solve.
Based on the current Constitution, it is not easy for any government since democracy to succeed rather, they are trying and doing their best to solve the challenges confronting the nation. We must be open to form and translate a new people oriented, progressive and friendly constitution for the benefit of all Nigerians because the current Constitution is long overdue for total change as it obviously can no longer deliver on the expectations of the citizenry.

The governments of yesterday might have disappointed us based on our expectations. What are we doing to support the government of today? Mind you, governments come and go but the national vision remains.
We must demand the removal of State of Origin from the constitution and replace it with State of Residence. The state of origin which is currently in the constitution has caused a lot of division and segregation among citizens and must be tackled head-on. It is very embarrassing to meet someone for the first time and ask them “what is your state of origin?”. The purpose of nationalism has been destroyed with this question.

The media must demand for an Act, a law that prevents all elected government officials and Civil servant Appointees and their directors from using private hospitals or traveling abroad for medical treatment rather they and their family members are to use public hospitals and if the need arises to travel abroad for medical attention, such individual must resign his/her appointment or position. This is the only way we can make our public health system work. It should be done before the 2027 general elections.

We must manage our anger towards insulting our beloved country. How can a Nigerian say “I hate Nigeria”? I consider that as an unpatriotic utterance and it is shameful and embarrassing.
On board an airplane the pilot or air hostess normally announce “ Please get down row by row” but Nigerians do not follow simple instructions. Will you also blame the government for such attitude? Where did we get it wrong as a nation and how can we get it right?

Certain security information do not require being shared on social media rather it should go straight to law enforcement agencies for the purpose of National Security. Do you think crimes are not being committed in other countries? Imagine the number of crimes that are not reported by international journalists about their countries because of national security and patriotism.
We should also desist from sharing fake and unverified news.
This house we call Nigeria, must not fall. America and all the civilization we see in England took years to attain. I strongly believe we can make it if we try. Together, let us rise to the occasion, honoring our duty to our beloved country. Nigeria is not merely a geographical entity; it is a collective dream, a testament to the resilience and potential of its people. With God as our guide, let us forge ahead, united in purpose and unwavering in our resolve to build a brighter future for generations to come.
Because I believe in the national pledge I conclude this by saying “So help me God”

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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