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The bane of negative publicity: stop the negative publicity about Nigeria - The Guardian

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Over the years, Nigeria have been subjected to a wave of negative publicity both at home and abroad. This detrimental trend has reached such a 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.



The bane of negative publicity


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 rumours, and even labelling our elected leaders in derogatory terms. This behaviour 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 with unsubstantiated claims damages our collective interests. We should remember that criticizing constructively and seeking accountability can be more effective in bringing about the necessary changes.


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. Just yesterday, a Nigerian who was interviewed on BBC faced severe backlash from Nigerians. He was portrayed as unpatriotic for speaking negatively about Nigeria, leading to significant harm to the country’s reputation, particularly in the immigration sector, especially concerning the UK.


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.


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 endeavours, 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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