BREAKING: Be Strategic, Responsible In Engaging Government – Gov Abdulrazaq’s CPS

Media organisations and practi­tioners across the country have been urged to take ownership of the Nigerian brand by being stra­tegic while playing their roles as the fourth estate of the realm.

Speaking at the grand finale of the 2023 Annual Press Week of the Correspondent’s Chapel of the NUJ in Ilorin on Wednesday evening, the Chief Press Secre­tary (CPS) to the Kwara State governor, Mallam Rafiu Ajakaye, said that Nigerian journalists should be strategic while criti­cising governments.

Ajakaye’s address as the key­note speaker was themed, ‘Role of the Media in Nigeria Soft Pow­er Conundrum.’

“Our population is surging every day; yet we have limited resources to get everything we need, especially human capital and foreign investments in our economy.

“But we cannot attract the right investments and human capital if we do not project Ni­geria as safe and right for all. If all we do is to record the vilest videos of unsavoury develop­ment and splash the same on the internet or make it the ban­ner headline that everyone sees across the world, we will be tell­ing the world that our country is not safe.

“We can tell ourselves about our problems and work together to solve them or make scapegoats of the culprits. What we should stop doing is to put constant spot­light on the downsides of our so­ciety. No other nation does that,” the CPS said.

Ajakaye added that “deaths linked to violent crimes in Nige­ria stood at 15,245 in 2022. In 2021, deaths associated with gun vio­lence alone in the United States stood at 48,830, a 23% rise since 2019.

“But while Nigeria is often portrayed as a scary place to be, the United States is seen as a par­adise where all is well 24/7.

“The difference is in the narratives that come with these statistics. While the US media establishments are quick to ex­plain away the violence in their own country, sometimes calling it the acts of lone wolves or de­pression, the narrative here is often that this is happening be­cause this is a failed system, run aground by failed and corrupt governments.

“The image we carve for our country is what sticks to it.

“If we call it a failed state be­cause of its imperfections and crises of nation building, which are hardly exclusive to it, the re­sult we get is what we call it.