Insurgency-infested North-East?

Simbo Olorunfemi

By Simbo Ọlọ́runfèmi

“Some tech experts have questioned data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showing the insurgency-infested North-East of Nigeria has the most certified information technology (IT) professionals in the country.”

That is the opening sentence of the report by BusinessDay, setting out to discredit the report of a survey said to have involved over 23 million people. BusinessDay will discredit that report on the back of interviews with 4 alleged experts.

What BusinessDay set out to do is evident in the very first sentence. A region of Nigeria which is actually about one third of the country’s land mass, with a population of about 25 million people, about 13% of the total population is deliberately and flippantly described by a newspaper targeted at the elite, which would be read by Foreigners, as insurgency-infested.

You know that each time we bring up the issue of unprofessional practice by the media, there are those whose expertise it is to misunderstand and misrepresent the simple point made, to start imagining that as a call for repression. They will say – Should the newspaper not report the truth again?

So, what is the truth here? Is the North-East insurgency-infested? I had to double-check with the Dictionary (See attached). What is the situation in the North East? The records, as also attached, confirm what we know that the insurgency, which at its peak, before 2015, could not have qualified the region the label, ‘insurgency-infested’ has obviously waned, now contained to only parts of two of the six states in the zone.

But BusinessDay, in desperation to discredit a little good news from the zone, labels the North-East insurgency-infested. This is not some distant foreign newspaper. It is a Nigerian newspaper putting that out in the international space where countries are competing like brands.

While some are helping to postively project their countries, BusinessDay chooses to soil the image of the country, just because it is not happy with a report that projects a part of the country positively. When we say some are always sceptical about the positive and always eager to embrace the negative, here it is.

I get this feeling that some in the media, lost in their bubbles, completely ignorant of what is happening elsewhere imagine that they live in their own country inside the country and that they are immune from the fire they are determined to set, stamping their bigotry on every thing they push out.

One can only hope they realise what they are doing before it is too late. What concerns one should concern all.