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FG asks Nigerians abroad to stop funding secessionist groups

Author:
Ebunoluwa Olafusi

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, has admonished the Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) against sponsoring secessionist groups.

Mohammed spoke during a visit of the delegation of NIDO, UK chapter, to his office on Tuesday.

The minister said it is disheartening that secessionist groups campaigning around the world for their causes were using some members of NIDO to propagate fake narratives about the country.

He said it is also worrisome that the secessionist groups were relying on the financial contributions of some NIDO members to fund their activities.

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The minister urged them to complement government efforts rather than propagating fake narratives and “untrue” allegations of religious persecution, political marginalisation, and human rights abuses.

“It is alarming and disappointing that some Nigerians in Diaspora still rely on platforms that peddle fake news and misinformation about Nigeria,” Mohammed said.

“I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to appeal to NIDO to seize the initiative from those who are bent on painting Nigeria bad in the comity of nations.

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“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.

“I also urge them to sweep the carpet off the feet of secessionist groups, insurgents and anarchists who are bent on pushing false narratives to portray Nigeria in a 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.”

The minister said the government acknowledged the challenges facing the country, especially in the area of insecurity, and is “earnestly” tackling them.

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

Mohammed, however, commended members of the UK chapter of NIDO for their patriotism and “shining a positive light on the country”.

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