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Thursday, 10 May 2012


TV2's false report about Nigerians in Hungary
By Hakeem Babalola

I think I should start by saying this: Nothing makes me proud than seeing my country and its appointed representatives doing the right thing regarding our welfare. 

The recent false report by the Hungarian TV2 concerning Nigerian citizens is worth commenting on; and the appropriate response by our representatives is commendable.

The Embassy of the Republic of Nigeria, Budapest had requested TV2 to correct the error that the Nigerian nationals were alleged to be culprits of a drug and rape case involving two female Hungarian minors.

Gone were the days when no one seem concerned about this kind of reports talk less of requesting for a correction.

According to the embassy, it was revealed by the Hungarian Police that it was not Nigerian nationals that committed the crime.

Yet TV2 went to town and reported in its programme titled “Tények” (Facts) that Nigerian nationals actually committed the crime.

If a programme named Facts then goes on to report False, then I felt constrained to submit that something is amiss; that a game is being played somewhere. Correct me if I am right.

Responding to the embassy’s request however, TV2 acknowledged its “mistake” and thus promised to correct it; and with assurance that it was not intentional to portray Nigerian citizens as criminals. 

“While expressing our regret,” reads a letter signed by TV2 Programme Manager, Péter Kiss. “We wish to assure your Excellency that the television did not have any intention to negatively portray the Nigerian citizens as such”. 

TV2 management confirmed the correction, saying it was broadcast on April 6 on the same programme Tények where it was stated that the suspects - after all - were not Nigerians.

Good, but the deed has been done. Sure we all make mistake, and we all commit error one way or the other. The greater problem lies in when people or organisations believe they are two big to apologise – for any error committed.

In my humble opinion, the false report against the citizens of the most populous African nation living in Hungary is indeed a blessing in disguise. Of course not many people will agree with me in this regard.

TV2 may or may not have the intention to portray us as criminals, but obviously it acted in haste. Even if TV2’s false report is an innocent error, at least every right thinking person can now discern and, or see that not all negative reports about Nigerians and Africans in general are original, true or genuine. 

TV2’s error may help us enlighten ordinary Hungarians; even authorities that not all Nigerians/Africans in this beautiful country are criminals. And indeed, not all Hungarians are innocents.

We have doctors. We have lawyers. We have economists. We have communicators. We have teachers. We have Human Rights activists and so on, yet Hungarian media would rather appoint a certain jester as our spokesperson in the affairs concerning Africa. 

Whilst I am not condoning crime, it is pertinent to note that crime is as old as the universe itself. A few bad eggs cannot be made to represent the whole. Let the king cut only the finger that steals; and let the king tarry a little and spare those fingers that never touch the loot.

One cannot but sympathise with the victims of this dastardly act as well as the falsely accused Nigerians. For the former, the mental and physical torture; and for the latter the disgrace and the innocent shame. 

That's why it is significant for the media to always cross check and cross check before going to town. It is understatement to say that the media is powerful and influential.

Coincidentally, I recently had a presentation at Utrecht University, Netherlands on the topic “Tuning in to Diversity… Thinking Forward” where I was privileged to speak about giving migrants a voice. The world media conference organised by MIRA MEDIA among other things aims to find solution to the media negative framing about migrants.

While we are not teaching TV2 and other powerful entities their job, we employ them to always verify information, especially in this type of magnitude report that involves the image of a country and its people.

We are watching...

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Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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