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Saturday, 28 June 2014

OPINION

What ‘good press’ in Nigeria means
By Don Baridam, PhD

PHOTO: AIChE
Since the “BringBackOurGirls” protests started after we learnt that about 276 girls were abducted by the radical Islamic group called Boko Haram on April 14th, 2014, there is nothing that many commentators have not compared President Goodluck Jonathan to in this trial period of our history as a nation.  There has been what I perceive as induced slams on the President. These slams are what is regarded these days in Nigeria as ‘good press’, especially by the opposition groups and some individuals.


Anything contrary and most appropriate is regarded as a ‘bad press’. Some have said that Mr. President is weak, clueless and runs no government. But in my own opinion, Jonathan for who he has always been is only demonstrating his true self: A man who is quiet, patient, tolerant, objective and unassuming. The President does not need to be boisterous in order to run his government, what people need to understand is his knack for productivity and appreciation for constructive suggestions/ criticisms.  

Perhaps, what these agents of disinformation expect is a President that is high handed and autocratic but unfortunately these are undemocratic methods that would rather fuel unimaginable crisis in the country and not expected of a man with the qualities earlier mentioned.

While we are all bothered by the current trend of militant activities and insurgency  threatening our existence as a nation, it would be foolhardy to expect our President to engage in war of words with any religious sect after all our forebears have done to keep Nigeria together irrespective of tribe and religious beliefs. The subtle but yet firm approach of the Jonathan administration in tackling the Boko Haram menace has not yet given us respite but clearly we can see that the notorious sect has succumbed to negotiations through kidnaps like the sad incident of our 276 girls.

To get to the root of our discontents as a people, Jonathan was able to put us together for a National Conference currently sitting in Abuja to address all our desires and misgivings.  This in itself even in the face of criticisms is most welcome but the “good / bad press’’ issue would not give peace a chance. Criticism must be objective and constructive enough to prompt a sitting President to appreciate its value, however what we see in our dailies is completely at variance with progressive values. Politicians whether in a ruling party or not must desist from making inflammatory comments capable of causing problems that could ordinarily be contained.

Nigeria without doubt is becoming a great country under Jonathan’s transformation agenda with an unconfirmed population of about two hundred million people; it is noteworthy to know that most sectors of our economy have improved appreciably. The recent rating placing the Nigerian Economy as one of the top three largest economies in Africa, with an industrial/agricultural sector GDP of 32% and 30% growth rate even with all the threats of Boko Haram depicts the efficacy and savvy of the Jonathan team.

In the area of unemployment which appears to be one of the issues frequently raised and has lived with us through successive administrations, Jonathan by providing funds in agricultural and other sectors has now provided the platform for genuine investors that would provide a vast number of employment opportunities to Nigerians. The privatization of power is a major success of his administration. We must all agree that one of the leading deficiencies we have suffered for generations now has been the lack of adequate power supply. This new development, a problem that only Jonathan has been bold enough to tackle, in no distant future will serve as the spring board for millions of employment avenues as manufacturing and production would be quadrupled.

President Goodluck Jonathan needs our cooperation and understanding as this will enable him achieve the remaining part of his promises to our people. We have to use our collective abilities in a productive way that would ultimately bring an end to the culture of violence and negative publicity that is fast becoming a trade mark. While the world over is protesting with the slogan of BringBackOurGirls, let us also BringBackOurCoexistence.

Prof. Baridam was Vice-chancellor UNIPORT (2005-2010). He contributed this piece from Khana, Ogoni, Rivers State. 
PHOTO: AIChE

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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 & interest..one day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
Johannesburg
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 e.news. 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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