Maybe Africa’s and certainly Nigeria’s largest enemy on the subject of adverse and biased reporting is Michael Peel, I’ve certainly tried to comprise myself and to be affected person with this voyeur cum journalist however I can’t maintain myself anymore. Not after his final damning report and one-sided tackle fraud and scams purportedly emanating out of Nigeria which he claims prices the UK billions yearly.
As we are saying in Nigeria, sufficient is sufficient. How lengthy ought to we stand by and watch this fellow dehumanise Africans and certainly Nigerians along with his adverse tackle the African continent? This previous week, a lot of the United Kingdom newspapers have been awash with Mr Peel’s story, conversations on tubes and buses and in workplaces have been ignited as soon as once more with the story of Nigerians and their monetary invention – the 419 rip-off. However this isn’t all that Nigerians are good at; sadly it’s the just one that Michael Peel selected to inform the world.
For individuals like me who communicate the English language flavoured with a thick Nigerian accent, and who bear flag-waving African names, there is no such thing as a escaping the scorn, ‘sympathies’ and jeers. Because the West African correspondent of the Monetary Instances Newspaper, Michael Peel has by no means discovered something good and optimistic in the entire sub-region value reporting, his reviews are often couched in cynicism, threads of decay, demise and backwardness knit them collectively, identical to the information reviews of his fellow western media journalists stationed in Africa whose solely mandate is to report the unhealthy and ugly. For Michael Peel and his associates, there may be nothing good popping out of Africa; Africa remains to be a darkish continent and its individuals savages and criminals.
I typically marvel, after they go to mattress at evening, do they calmly shut their eyes with the satisfaction that they’ve achieved their greatest by way of their many warped and adverse reviews to enhance the lives of the Africans whom they consistently denigrate, or does the thought that they might be contributing to Africa’s backwardness linger someplace on their minds?
As an affiliate fellow of Chatham Home, does Michael Peel not realise that the paperwork he authors and that are endorsed by Chatham Home in a manner influences insurance policies together with the choices taken by governments and world buyers regarding Africa, and that such parochial tackle points is at cross functions with Africa, and certainly Nigeria’s march in the direction of nationwide re-birth, and its present drive to draw international direct investments (FDIs)?
The place has the journalistic objectivity he learnt in journalism college gone to? In telling his readers how a lot the UK loses yearly to fraud emanating from Nigeria, he conveniently ignored the truth that his fellow residents (the ‘harmless’ victims) are additionally co-perpetrators within the crime, and that their ‘misfortune’ solely happened due to their greed and immoral inclination to rape Africa and rob it of its assets. A disposition that dates centuries and continues to be witnessed in Africa’s many mines and oil wells.
So who’s smiling final now? The poor Africans that he a lot detests and derides consistently, subjecting them to fixed ridicule within the western media, and elevating them to favorite dinner desk subjects, and ballroom occasion conversations in Westminster by way of his adverse reviews, or is it the grasping white women and men who deliberate to reap the place they didn’t sow and acquired achieved within the course of?
Perhaps Michael Peel ought to take a cue from John Simpson, BBC’s former Africa correspondent and world affairs editor who reviews Africa identical to a accomplice in Africa’s progress and improvement ought to; praising and critiquing it when crucial whereas on the identical time savouring, celebrating and immersing himself within the tradition of the individuals; their meals, music, artwork, and way of life. In certainly one of Mr Simpson’s many introspective essays revealed someday in 2000, in an version of Excessive Life, the British Airways in-flight journal; John Simpson wrote what I think about to be one of the vital stunning articles about Nigeria ever written by a non-Nigerian. Within the stated article, he bared his soul whereas declaring his love for a rustic that he stated was most likely top-of-the-line international locations on the planet to dwell in regardless of the percentages and challenges. Absolutely there are issues Mr Simpson will need to have seen or skilled to have made him arrive at such a conclusion. Such an endorsement coming from a extensively travelled man and author clearly beats the various battering on the keyboards of the Michael Peels of this world who might have overstayed their welcome, and may now be considering of packing their luggage and leaving the gorgeous continent; the land of the good rivers and the rising solar.
I suppose it’s only Michael Peel that may produce the statistical components he used to reach on the alleged sum of money the UK loses yearly to Nigerian fraudsters, if his billion kilos calculations had been true, would there have nonetheless been a necessity for Nigeria and the remainder of Africa to be asking for debt cancellation? Would such gigantic proceeds of crime not have been seen on the bottom? Would all of the roads and pavements in Nigeria not be tarred and paved with gold, and would the economic system of the UK not have severely felt the influence of such unlawful capital flights transferring out of the economic system to Nigeria?
Michael Peel ought to please get one other vocation and depart Nigeria and Nigerians alone. Scare mongering is hardly what the world wants at this stage, notably the UK which at present grapples with a myriad of points together with massive scale company fraud (put up – Enron, Andersen, WorldCom, Tyco and many others), organized crime, poverty, anti-social behaviours, teenage being pregnant, risk of terrorism and rising unemployment and many others. If he’s a lot involved, he ought to be trawling the studios of the BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5 in addition to Sky exhorting his individuals and advising them to not give away their ‘billions of kilos’ to Nigerians.
Africans and their governments share a part of the blame for not combating their very own battles themselves. They’ve repeatedly didn’t put money into their very own media programs and infrastructures with which to inform their very own tales. It could be alongside this line although that the Nigerian government-owned Nigerian Tv Authority (NTA) not too long ago began broadcasting internationally. Worthy of observe is also the reported plans by Nigeria’s Information Company of Nigeria (NAN) to start a 24-hour transmission from January 2007, identical to different world information wires. These are all optimistic strikes which if sustained in the long term would give Nigeria a voice on the worldwide enviornment, along with the little efforts of privately owned terrestrial channels resembling Africa Unbiased Tv (AIT), Brilliant Leisure Community (BEN) Tv, and OBE and many others.
The try by Mr Peel to palm off his guestimates as analysis with the intention to assist his place and people of his paymasters is certainly appalling; if solely he was honest, an informal probe would have instructed him that a lot of the rip-off emails don’t originate from Nigeria, agreed some unscrupulous Nigerians might have popularised the scams however different residents of the world together with residents of the UK have since perfected it. Mr Peel can’t argue for certain that the every day ‘Euro Tens of millions Prize Monies’ and such comparable rip-off emails which bombard our electronic mail packing containers every day all originate from Nigeria, or does he not watch the BBC Watchdog programme? What number of Nigerians have been featured in that programme? Are the standard suspects not his fellow countrymen and ladies who get caught within the act whereas making an attempt to fleece different legislation abiding residents together with pensioners of their hard-earned cash?
The age-old reliance by African international locations on western media such because the BBC, Monetary Instances, CNN, VOA and many others for info has probably not achieved Africa a lot good. The time has come for Africa and Africans to start out telling their very own tales, and to commit Michael Peel and his co-travellers who feast on Africa’s misfortunes, and are at all times fast to sentence, decide, blame and criminalise the nice individuals of Africa with their myopic reviews to the garbage bins of historical past.
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