NIGERIA HIGH COMMISSION,
Report on Nigeria misguided and totally misleading
Press Release for circulation June 3, 2005
We write in reaction to a news agency report credited to Reuters,
published on May 26. It was titled "Nigeria could collapse and bring
down Africa, says CIA."
When it comes to Africa and African countries in general, doomsday
prophets abound all over the place; either in the intelligence
circuit or the media, particularly the Western media.
It should be recalled that this was one of the issues which featured
prominently during the recently concluded International Press
Institute conference in Nairobi.
The CIA report, which is the source of the story in your newspaper,
and Reuters' readiness to quickly lap it up, do not come as a
They all fit into the world view of authors of the report and typical
Western coverage of Africa, based on simple prejudice and
preconception rather than any informed analysis. The preference to
report the negative rather than genuine efforts at nation-building
are all too common.
People who are predicting the collapse of Nigeria at the turn of a
new century are living in the past, stuck to old ideas.
They are totally ignorant of current realities of the country,
preferring to use the same tar-brush of the past. They deliberately
prefer not to see the far-reaching reforms, the fight against
corruption and waste, and the progress being made towards
consolidation of democracy, securely anchored on good governance and
full accountability to the people.
It is a pity that they cannot see the new Nigeria being collectively
built, and the efforts of government under President Olusegun
Obasanjo to reposition the country's economy for the well-being of
Like any other nation in the world today, including those which boast
of being old or ancient democracies, we are fully aware of challenges
in various areas of our national life, and we are facing them, and
For those who are not aware, Nigeria's performance on the home front
since the return to civil rule has been remarkable. Likewise, in the
West African sub-region, the facts speak for themselves.
We carry our fair share of the burden arising out of the process of
economic integration in our region, and resolution of conflict or
keeping the peace when it becomes necessary. We remain a stabilising
factor, promoting development.
Indeed, our tireless efforts for peace and stability and good
governance in the sub-region, and total commitment to peace and
progress of the African continent and its people, are unquestionable.
Nigeria is making irreversible progress, consolidating its unity,
stability, indivisibility, prosperity and development.
Consequently, rather than be a destabilising factor our country is
and will continue to be a shining example in the region and indeed in
Africa. The doomsday prophets of catastrophe should put on new
looking glasses to see clearly.
We wish to conclude by stressing that the world now knows better.
Thus, the so-called intelligence reports emanating from discredited
intelligence agencies cannot, and will not distract us. Nigeria and
Africa could do better without the doomsday prophets.