Garba Shehu, Presidential Assistant on Media and Publicity, has responded to the wave of negative reactions trailing remarks about the reputation of Nigerians by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the “misconstrued” reactions were result of an incomplete understanding of his principal’s point.
Shehu in a statement on Tuesday stated that Buhari was asked about the flood of migrants from Nigeria and the fraudulent applications for asylum put in by people desperate to leave their motherland at any cost.
Urging Nigerians to avail themselves of a full text of the interview available on the Telegraph’s website, Shehu said it was preposterous for anyone to imagine that the President of Nigeria would describe all the citizens of the country he leads as criminals, when he himself is a Nigerian – obviously not a criminal – and when there are many Nigerians of honest living making their country proud all over the world.
“Unfortunately, they are also Nigerians giving their country a bad image abroad, and it is to those Nigerians that the President referred in his comments,” he said.
“People may play politics and online games with the President’s comments, but the fact of the matter remains that Nigeria’s reputation abroad has been severely damaged by her own citizens.
“These Nigerians who leave their country to go and make mischief on foreign shores have given the rest of us a bad reputation that we daily struggle to overcome.”