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CNN put tar on Nigerians again

Posted by JARE AJAYI, US on 2007/06/24 | Views: 415 |

CNN put tar on Nigerians again

Nigerians in North America were again horrified last weekend with repeat-broadcast of a documentary that portrayed Nigerians as criminals adept in bank robbery among others.

Nigerians in North America were again horrified last weekend with repeat-broadcast of a documentary that portrayed Nigerians as criminals adept in bank robbery among others.

The near hour-long documentary entitled: How to Rob a Bank elicited protests from Nigerians when it was first broadcast earlier this year. The protest was so intense that the Cable Network News (CNN) that broadcast it was forced to offer a subtle apology.

But with the re-showing of the documentary again at the weekend, concerned Nigerians were, in retrospect, concluding that the subtle apology offered by the station earlier on was insincere.
Dr. Abiodun Dada, a New Jersey based Nigerian professional said that the documentary was meant to reinforce the stereotype which certain interests want to continue to hold about Nigerians.
“They want to continue to portray us as a bunch of criminals.”

His view was corroborated by another Nigerian, Kabir Abubakar of Elton, Maryland, who said that most of the time, it is not all the people apprehended for crimes and paraded as Nigerians that are truly Nigerians.

He expressed the hope that something would be done urgently to change the bad image Nigeria and Nigerians are being made to carry.
Details of the documentary shot in Houston, Texas area show a number of people apprehended for credit card abuse.

In the documentary, three men, Joseph Sobade, James Osamor and Tony Okolo were separately shown fraudulently using other people’s credit cards to rob banks of their target. According to the documentary, Chase Bank (Bank One) lost $12 million to the scam.

Another alleged Nigerian, David George was found with 115 credit cards, as well as $185,000 cash.
A 22-year old student, Jessica Durrow had a credit credit done for her by George.

What exposed CNN’s unvarnished bias in the documentary was the fact that, at least three other people who, also committed related crimes in the documentary were not identified by their nationalities. Jessica was a (white) American. So were two others, Jonathan Richard and Jason Carpenter, who jumped bail but was later re-arrested. They probably would have been said to be Nigerians but for the colour of their skin, an observer noted.

Such was the extent of the bias of the CNN and the anchor person of the documentary, Drew Griffin.
Speaking on the issue, a New York-based security consultant, Mr. Ako Anum, regretted that the white folk in America seems to be bent on dubbing blacks as criminals.

“They put the onus on us to prove otherwise. It is
a pity indeed.” said Anum who added that ‘although I
am a Ghanaian, it is only an uninformed black or for
that matter African who would not be disturbed about
the picture being painted of Nigerians. Most of the
time, they see us as one anyway.”

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