Idea &Image of Nigerians at risk: #tellABC to stop capitalizing on Nigerian despair!

Isn’t it frustrating to hear how shocked some people  are at your efficiency or high GPA because it doesn’t agree with the idea of a lazy corrupt Nigerian who cannot even speak English (though it is our (unfortunate) lingua franca)? , especially when you know that’s the opposite who you are? Actually, their media is responsible for feeding them all that crap! Well, thanks to ABC News, a woman with years of financial expertise who once advised the world bank has been portrayed to the world as JUST a “Nigerian official (who) says she’s tired of talking about kidnapped girls” Ngozi oonjoNigerian Official says she is tired of talking about kidnapped girls

For too long, many citizens of “third-world countries” have formed an inferiority complex to Americans (or western) “saviors” because the media generalizes on our lack of trust in our governments. For good reason, we often criticize our corrupt leaders, but we must not do so at the expense of condoning a lie or a false truth as done in that ABC NEWS report. While such titles are being dished out, others like “American security arrest two Boo Haram members” are being sold. Of course, this comes from a flawed assumption that without those “American” security officials, no progress would have been made because Nigerian Officials like our minister of finance are even tired of caring about the crises. I understand that the west has helped in a lot of ways, but they must not try to pat themselves on the back by bringing down the efforts being made by efficient personnel on-ground. For that reason, I have many problems with the ABC title:

  1. Those words; “I am tired of talking about kidnapped girls” never came out of her mouth. She is not tired of talking about the kidnapped girls, she is tired of answering your close-ended questions about it. In a bid to make a story yours, you put people through the same questions that are being answered on other news agencies( by those with a greater responsibility to the press). 
  2. NIGERIAN OFFICIAL OF WHAT? ABC did not provide us with her name. So, even if we wanted to research her role in the government, and investigate the claims ABC made, we cannot because ABC has her titled as “Nigerian Official”. As minister of Finance who is tremendously busy with the World Economic Forum (happening right now) while being actively engaged in the terrorist crises, she gave some updates and hopeful insights as to what is being done considering it was an impromptu interview. At least, more transparent and coherent than any other official who actually has a direct responsibility in the crisis.(e.g ministry of women’s affairs, minister of information). A lot of our government might be useless but some people actually have a high level of expertise, which the minister of finance is currently trying to use to sustain economic progress for a country where 70% lives below 1.25$ daily.
  3. Coming from a country with a lot of red-tape (i.e US), does the ABC news crew not know what a chain of command is? Why should you attack a Minister of Finance for not wanting to be the spokesperson for a security crises that is plaguing the country?
  4. The Minister was unprepared for that harassment and yet she managed to make out time on her way to her meeting to give you a personal response about what was being done. For abcnews to just say “Nigerian official says she’s tired of talking about the kidnapped girls” is a desperate attempt for attention and a dangerous misrepresentation of efforts being made. Nigerian official of what? nkt! The headline does not represent the bulk of what Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala actually said in this interview. 

michelle obama bbog

I think it is important to realize that some people who participate in the #bringbackourgirls hashtag know that a hashtag wont literally go into the bushes and find the missing girls.

 

 

 

 

However, it creates a space that we can use to the maximum of our capacities to address global issues that translate into local forms of violence. e.g reframing the way international media capitalizes on news from “third world”-especially African- countries.

As expected, there was a lot of outrage on the framing from my friends on facebook:

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In response,  I wrote to the ABC NEWS station on their feedback page and tweeted a whole lot at them on my twitter account. However, they did not acknowledge this complaint and I am not willing to let it die. Like I mentioned, hashtags wont turn into walking creatures to solve our problems but they can stop history from repeating themselves. Please use the hashtag #tellABC to tweet about your frustrations. What we want is a public apology for their intentions to turn news about Nigerians losing their families into a means to sell propaganda about how great America the police of the world is. That story is a typical example of how Americans would hear about my secondary school experience and tell themselves “Wow, thank God I’m an American”

Hey, you, you will not use the suffering of 267 families as an excuse to underestimate my efficiency by the color or my passport or the accent of my english in the near future. Also, #tellABC to stop spreading false truths and making Americans look bad as well. Yes, Americans this makes you look bad too! because I know a number of Americans who will never say this. However, silence is passive action: English band “Faithless” says, “Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction”

inaction-is-a-weapon-of-mass-destruction

If you’re American fight for your individuality! Don’t let  the media be a false representation of your values and ideals as an American. This “Nigerian official” is an efficient minister of finance who must not be discouraged by false vindications of her active commitment against terrorism in Nigeria. You have the power to stop the violence against the west brewing in another country. Boko Haram is one UNACCEPTABLE way of saying no to western superiority and a #tellABC hashtag is another way of nipping false media representation in the bud! As Alice Walker said, Alice walker Claim your power: #tellABC to take down that rubbish!

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