Presidency berates ex-US envoy, magazine over ‘Nigeria is failing’ report

THE Presidency on Thursday knocked an American magazine of international relations and US foreign policy, Foreign Affairs, for publishing what it called a facts-shifting article on Nigeria.

It said this in its reaction to an article titled ‘The giant of Africa is failing’ which appeared in the current edition of the magazine.

The Presidency’s position was contained in a statement  by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, titled, ‘Re: Giant of Africa is failing: Stating the facts.’

The statement reads, “The latest article on Nigeria in Foreign Affairs titled ‘The Giant of Africa is failing’ is unfair both to a magazine with such an esteemed pedigree and to its readers.

“Ambassador Campbell has been predicting the collapse of Nigeria for several years. He is of course entitled to his opinions, even where events consistently prove him wrong. But facts should not be bent to support distorted opinions.”

Shehu cited example of the claim in the article that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at an April meeting with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, reportedly requested that the headquarters of the US Africa Command be moved from Germany to Nigeria so that it would be closer to the fight against jihad groups in the country’s North.

He added, “It’s not just a question of the invented addition of ‘to Nigeria’ with regard to AFRICOM. It sums up a piece that attempts – subtly but revealingly – to shift facts to suit an argument.

“Nigeria faces multiple challenges, not least of which is the dissemination of fake news and prejudiced opinion.

“This is something we have come to expect from partisan blogs and politically motivated lobbies. It is still a surprise, and a disappointment, to see them joined by Foreign Affairs.”

PUNCH

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