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Last Updated: Jan 29th, 2013 - 16:05:32 
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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Nigeria Deserves Better - How not to do Nigeriaís Public Relations
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Jan 29, 2013, 17:00
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I could not understand the rationale behind stuff written on Page 2 of CONCORD TIMES of yesterday Monday January 28th 2013 so I asked for a copy of our said report about the theft at Howe Street. Reading our report, it clearly spoke of how the management of the Nigerian-owned ARIK and VITAFOAM refused to speak to journalists from Sierra Leone newspapers. But most importantly, the report spoke of how bystanders and those trading in the environs raised eyebrows over the news that Nigerian linked businesses supposedly went untouched. Initially, it was only the Sierra Leonean management of Allieís Jewelery which spoke of being robbed.

 

It is left to the management of ARIK and VITAFOAM to explain why they preferred to speak to their Nigerian press comrades than to Sierra Leonean newsmen.


What I think Nigerian journalists at CONCORD TIMES should embark upon in this country is not attacking others out of a desperate bid to be seen as relevant amidst their paperís dwindling sales. It is not a crime to report on mood and opinions expressed at the scene.


In my humble opinion, the best way to help Nigeria in Sierra Leone is to undertake a serious survey as to why locals (not just at Howe Street) are so swift in raising suspicions in matters concerning Nigerian individuals and Nigerian business-houses. Then, from the report of the survey, the Nigerian journalists with the help of the Nigerian High Commission, can elicit ways as to how to reduce this overt suspicion which were being loudly expressed by those working in the area of the theft and curious bystanders.


The report of comments of locals should serve as eye-opener which deserves an engagement of locals at the scene (Howe Street) and even beyond. Such engagement should be ROBUST and far-reaching in order to get Sierra Leoneans to better appreciate the finer sides of Nigeria and suppress their deep suspicions.


That ridiculous flaying stuff of yesterday written by two Nigerian writers is not how to help Nigerian business-houses; especially as only a few Sierra Leoneans read CONCORD TIMES currently. Instead, if the Nigerian writers want to help, I will suggest they please go down to Howe Street and engage the SIERRA LEONEANS there with a bid to getting the locals to understand the great Nation that Nigeria is and the wonderful people whom Nigerians can be.


Writing junk opinions all over a whole page of a Nigerian-operated newspaper, with a rather poor local readership, is not the way to help Nigerian business houses to enjoy a more trustworthy relationship with locals in Sierra Leone. Nigeria deserves better and Nigerian business-houses also deserve better; much better than yesterdayís nonsense inside CONCORD TIMES. That is my view.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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