Nigeria: Govt Accuses Nigerians in Diaspora of Funding Secessionist Agitations, Spreading Fake News

27 July 2021

The Federal Government has condemned some Nigerians in Diaspora for financing the secessionist activities of separatist groups in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made allegation on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with the the members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO), UK Chapter as part of the activities marking the initiative tagged 'A Week in and For Nigeria'.

He criticised members of the Diaspora for identifying with secessionist groups that are campaigning around the world, who see them as allies to propagate their fake narratives about the country.

He also expressed angst and disappointment against some members of the Diaspora for relying on platforms that peddle fake news and misinformation about the country.

"It is in recognition of the relevance of Nigerians in Diaspora that the secessionist groups that are campaigning around the world for their causes have identified and are effectively using some of them (Nigerians in Diaspora) to propagate their fake narratives about the country, in addition to relying on their financial contributions to fund their nefarious activities. This is disheartening," Mohammed said.

He commended NIDO for its patriotism and steadfastness that is beamed at shinning a positive light on Nigeria, celebrating the country and contributing towards a better nation, rather than badmouthing the country around the world.

He appealed to the Diaspora organisation to take the initiative from those who are bent on painting the country in bad light in the comity of nations.

"Instead of contributing their own quota to these efforts, 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 marginalisation, 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.

"I have no doubt that you will take this call seriously and do everything in your power to change the narrative for the better," Mohammed said.

He emphasized that the federal government was currently re-engineering and ramping up its diplomatic efforts to counter and reverse the narrative, in addition to countering pervasive anti-government propaganda.

Mohammed stressed that the Buhari Administration considered Nigerians in Diaspora as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, which informed the creation of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), which is coordinating and providing an organised system of collaborations of Nigerians in Diaspora.

He also stated that whenever the President travelled outside the country, he had made it a point of duty to regularly engage with Nigerians in his host country.

He also cited the unavoidable division among Nigerians in Diaspora in some countries as a factor that hampers such engagements.

While admitting that the country is saddled with security challenges, he boasted that no administration in the history of the country had done so much with so little.

"The Administration came in at a time that the country has lost one third of its revenue, due to a drastic crash in oil prices.

Despite that, the Administration has recorded tremendous achievements in the area of infrastructure - roads, rail, power, housing, dams, etc., Agriculture, where the country is closer than ever to achieving self-sufficiency in major staples, the fight against corruption, which the Administration is prosecuting in an institutionalised manner as well as the revamping of the economy, especially through diversification," he said.

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