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Presidency faults article on Nigeria by Foreign Affairs Magazine

The Presidency has described as unfair and distorted opinion the latest article on Nigeria published by the Foreign Affairs (Magazine) titled, ‘The Giant of Africa is Failing’.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, made the condemnation in a statement in Abuja on Thursday while reacting to the article.

In a letter addressed to the publishers of the magazine, the presidential aide frowned at the way and manner facts were being bent to support distorted opinions.

The letter read in part: “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. Let me give you one example.

“The authors write: ‘At an April meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Buhari reportedly requested that the headquarters of the U.S. Africa Command be moved from Germany to Nigeria so that it would be closer to the fight against jihadi groups in the country’s north.’

“President Buhari did not request that AFRICOM move to Nigeria. The transcript of the call with Secretary Blinken is available on the State Department’s own website.

“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.’’

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

He said: “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.’’

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