From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government, has tasked the media to put the nation first in the reportage of the nation’s activities, particularly the fight against insecurity.
It also accused the media of giving less attention to the recent successes being recorded by the military over terrorists, bandits, militants and other form of insecurity.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, spoke at the renaming of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters building after the late Wada Maida in Abuja, yesterday.
Mohammed said it may seem obvious and trite but for any professional, including a journalist to be able to carry out his or her responsibility at all, the nation must first exist, in peace.
“In other words, if the country goes down, all professionals and everybody go down. It is that stark, and this is why I want to use this platform to appeal to our media to put Nigeria first.”
Mohammed said if one picked up most newspapers, watched most television stations or listened to most radio stations, one would be right to think Nigeria is at war.
While acknowledging that there were challenges, especially in the area of security, Mohammed, however, said the Buhari administration had not only acknowledged the challenges, it was earnestly tackling the challenges.
“A good example is the decisive manner in which our gallant troops are tackling the banditry in the North-West or the way they are combating the terrorists in the North-East. 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.
“To illustrate the damage this non-acknowledgement of the efforts of the security agencies pose to the country, let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (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 and 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.”