The Cost Of Negative “Narratives” On A State (Reflection On The Nigerian State) -By David M. Dogo

Filed under: National Issues |

Borrowing from the common sense made by the concept of Speculative Motive of demand for money by a British Economist, John Mynard Keynes; optimistic business trend or forecast of greater yield of an investment makes people invest but when there is pessimistic speculation, reverse becomes the case. The Stock exchange market becomes bullish when the economic and business atmosphere is favorably forecasted largely not just by figures alone but by favorable government pronouncements. This concept applies to the well –being of any state or nation.

The outcome of ratings by rating agencies such as Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, (S&P), Fitch Group have always inspires or wades off investors from a particular economy.


David M. Dogo


One of the bloodiest wars in recent time took place in Rwanda from April to July, 1994 and some of the building blocks towards the culmination of that mindless, senseless and heartless war were the demonization of a section of an ethnic group, hate speech and general verbal attacks on the system to the disadvantage of a section. Radio programme was openly broadcasting extermination of the Tutsis, calling them cockroaches. There were hateful songs played in the media, speeches of threats of destruction, annihilation and extermination which only snowballed into chaos that left hundreds of thousands of people dead and properties destroyed.

Civilized and developed countries of the world are careful about their image both locally and internationally. They make sure that their countries are not portrayed by the media in bad light. As a result, media contents were and are under serious censoring. Those countries also ensure that they worked towards winning the affection, loyalty and commitment of their citizens. Do they have their dark sides, oh yes! They have slums, the homeless, beggars; they also battle social and economic injustices. You may wish to consider that at a different scale compared to what obtains in the underdeveloped countries.

While I stand to be corrected, a generalized perception of Nigeria is that of gloom, darkness and murkiness. It is so easy to describe the many weaknesses of Nigeria and its woes. The media celebrates it, artistes glorify it, our government officials amplify it through their conducts and even innocent children know it without being told. Pictures and scenes from the media, messages and programmes from the radio as well as western conspiracy, they all graciously paint Nigeria in the dark. It could have been different if we have functional institutions, social and economic justice, fairness and equity, transparency and accountability. Had we educated our citizens, provided basic needs such as food, shelter and security; had we have functional infrastructure such as good roads, portable water, electricity; had we have functional healthcare system, the general perception and NARRATIVES would have been different.

The contractors know that unless you give a kickback, your contract letter will not be released or at best, you will never be considered subsequently, Nigerians know that the best is often not given the opportunity, they know that unless you are connected with the powers that be, your efforts amount to nothing. Our young girls know that they have to give their bodies in order to be considered for employment. Nepotism, ethnicity rather than national interest all add to the corroded image of the country and such are the “Narratives” of Nigeria.

The Government often threaten to clamp down on purveyors of hate speech and seeds of discord which are all negative “Narratives” and have the capacity of not just sending wrong signals to investors both foreign and local but can lead to epileptic and dysfunctional business atmosphere and a total breakdown of law and order!

A positive “Narrative” can be achieved naturally if the citizens have a sense of justice, fairness, equity, security and belonging. The citizens can glorify the country if they are cared for through the provision of basic amenities, if our elected government officials could live by example, if there is accountability, transparency and sincerity of purpose. What we see is outright show of lawlessness, fraud and brazen sectionalism by those who were voted to uphold the sanctity of the country’s constitution.

Until then, negative “Narratives” continue to be the lot of Nigeria and its cost? Agitations, terrorism, unrest and underdevelopment

Article written and submitted by David M. Dogo
A, M.Phil/P.hd, student of Political Economy and International Development, ABU, Zaria.