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6 Aug 2017

CNN 'Remembers' Nigeria

Punch newspaper columnist, Onoshe Nwabuikwu has penned down an interesting piece about the CNN's mockery of Nigeria before the global community.
You may have heard that Nigeria featured, not in a flattering way, in the Quiz and Trivia segment of Fareed Zakaria’s GPS (The Global Public Square) the other day on CNN.

Usually, he asks a question which sometimes sounds like a trick question close to the beginning of the programme. The question is often made interesting and suspenseful enough to cause the viewer to stick around or check back for the answer.

On the latest edition the question was: ‘The head of state from which country has not set foot in his homeland in over two months?’ The options were: Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Syria and Nigeria. The answer of course was very obvious to any Nigerian.

Not surprising, many Nigerians were all round embarrassed, if not humiliated. Although I suspect the anger is not really against CNN or Fareed Zakaria. It’s not unlikely that there are people who might view the GPS mention as a badge of honour. Or see Nigeria’s appearance on GPS as some kind of  achievement.

As for me, I was angry in addition to feeling embarrassed. The western media especially CNN, played a notable role in working for and securing a change in Nigeria’s government. They roundly undermined the man who was there: and they canvassed for  Buhari; a man of integrity. They saw him as someone who abhorred corruption. In doing this, they weren’t always journalistic in their approach. They sometimes worked to the answer, supplying the ‘evidence’ they wanted as they went along. In the forefront were people like Isha Sessay and Christiane Amanpour. It was like a life project for them. They were the crusaders against corruption, etc.

Mind you, there was a fall back plan. In the event that they didn’t get the regime change they wanted, or if Goodluck Jonathan, the former president had refused to hand over, that would have provided a bumper harvest of news for them. It’s no secret that major news stations had begun to deploy and increase the strength of their reporters in Nigeria.These were those who were going to ‘break the news’ about Nigeria’s breakup in real time! It was a win-win situation. But as you know, Jonathan chose to pick his phone to concede victory to Gen. Buhari. The rest is history.

Well, it seems like CNN and co also think Nigeria is history. They have since moved on. They have turned their attention elsewhere to another nation that needs ‘saving’. As I noted elsewhere in this column, I  may be suffering from a case of transferred aggression right now. Why blame CNN and no one else?We could argue that CNN didn’t take part in the 2015 elections after all. 15 million Nigerians voted for change. CNN didn’t send President Buhari to the UK since May 7, 2017, even though we do not know what ails him. Hopefully, they’re not part owners of the hospital Buhari is. But still.

And I ask: how did we get to this stage? Who has bewitched us so? Nigeria, with a myriad of pressing and urgent problems, needs a president who can work if possible 26 hours a day. Even at his fittest how long was Buhari working?

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