Someone has to say something strategic about how the media presents the country to foreigners.

Rafiu Ajakaye, chief press secretary to the governor of Kwara State, delivered the speech in Ilorin on Wednesday. He said that the Nigerian media should start using strategic national rebranding to show the world the country’s bright side.

“Let us be strategic about what we publish about our country even if we must hold the government accountable,” Ajakaye remarked at the grand finale of this year’s press week of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Kwara State chapter.

The reputation we give Nigeria is one of a failed nation, and we must work to change that.

The governor’s spokesman made the bold claim in the keynote speech, “Role Of The Media In Nigeria’s Soft Power Conundrum,” that even prosperous nations like the United States and the United Kingdom had their share of troubled pasts.

The media, he added, must find a middle ground between being patriotic and calling the government to account while minimizing negative press. He did not, however, urge the media to forsake its job as watchdog.

It is impossible to overstate the media’s significance as a soft power in nation building, according to Abdulhakeem Garba, chairman of the journalists’ chapel, in his opening remarks.

The media, he said, has become an influential force in today’s world because of its capacity to enlighten the public, change public opinion, and impact national politics, culture, and society.

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