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Nigeria safer than South Africa, U.S – Onanuga

The Federal Government has warned the media to exercise restraint in its covering of the widespread insecurity challenges facing the country.

Bayo Onanuga, media aide to President Bola Tinubu, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja today. He said the media was meant to criticise the government based on overriding national dividends.

Onanuga said he understood the game the media was playing. He said the media exaggerates and embellishes its reports to attract audiences, forgetting its social responsibility of painting a good picture of the country to attract both foreign and local investors and not scaring them away with the impression that our country is under siege by criminals.

“Media reporting about cases of kidnapping, communal killings and isolated terrorism acts must show some moderation by not giving the impression that all Nigerians no longer sleep with two eyes closed or are not safe in going about their day-to-day business.

“To sell our newspapers or clickbait, we tend to exaggerate and embellish, sometimes forgetting the social responsibility of the media, not to give the impression that our country is under siege by criminals or that every nook and cranny of our country is under their stranglehold,” he said.

The media aide said with the prevailing security challenges facing the country, we are still not the worst in terms of insecurity. He said Nigeria ranked low globally in kidnapping and armed robbery.

“In a report by the World Population Review, Nigeria is not among the top 10 countries in the world with a kidnapping epidemic. Turkey leads with 42 people kidnapped out of 100,000 people. Lebanon is second with 15 people out of 100,000, and Kuwait is third with 12 out of 100,000 held in captivity.

“Canada, Belgium, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, Eswatini and the United Kingdom make up the remaining top 10. Kidnapping in Nigeria is 0.334 per 100,000. The frightening headlines on Tuesday were based on the report by the Civil Society Joint Action Group that calls for an emergency on the security situation, surprisingly oblivious that our security agencies have been working in that spirit for a long time, since 2009,” he added.

He said the security agencies’ efforts have made the country safer than the likes of South Africa and the U.S.

“Our security agencies deserve society’s appreciation for their efforts so far in trying to nip in the bud the evils of kidnapping, banditry, communal killings and terrorism in our country.

“Their efforts, most often understated, have made our country safer, at least, than South Africa or the United States, where 44,310 people were killed last year in gun violence.”

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