From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has said allegations of religious persecution, political marginalization, and human rights abuses in the country are false narratives aimed at painting the President Muhamamdu Buhari-led Federal Government in bad light.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this when he received members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), United Kingdom (UK) Chapter in Abuja.
The members of NIDO, UK Chapter, were in the minister’s office as part of activities marking their ‘A week in and for Nigeria’ programme.
Mohammed who commended the group for their patriotism and steadfastness, especially for the initiative aimed at better projecting the image of the country and contributing towards a better Nigeria, said that was what patriots do and not badmouthing their country around the world.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari considered Nigerians in Diaspora as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, hence the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).
Mohammed further said it was disappointing that some Nigerians in Diaspora still rely on platforms that peddle fake news and misinformation about the country, despite the good job NIDCOM was doing informing Nigerians in the Diaspora about activities of the government.
He said the recognition of the relevance of Nigerians in Diaspora has forced secessionist groups that are campaigning around the world for their causes to use some of them to propagate their fake narratives about the country, in addition to relying on their financial contributions to fund their activities.
“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. As an organised 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,” Mohammed said.
Chairman of NIDO, UK Chapter, Mr. Chibuzo Ubochi, commended President Buhari for officially gazetting July 25 as Nigeria Diaspora Day.
Ubochi 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.