ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria is hoping a new patriotic slogan emblazoned on T-shirts and baseball caps can restore self-confidence and overturn its battered reputation.
Africa’s most populous nation is known for corruption, is poor despite decades of oil production and is increasingly used as a drug transit route and for e-mail scams and online fraud.
Under the slogan “Nigeria: Good People, Great Nation,” Nigeria hopes to eschew that image and “entrench a culture of moral re-armament,” President Umaru Yar’Adua said in a speech.
“At international airports, in trains, in shopping malls, and almost everywhere, every Nigerian is a marked person,” Dora Akunyili, information minister and self-styled chief image maker said at the launch of the re-branding campaign this week.
“We are pulled aside for questioning. We are seen as potential drug pushers or fraudsters. We are unfortunately denied the benefit of the doubt,” she said.
But many Nigerians wear their country’s reputation for mayhem and chaos as a mark of pride — if you can survive Nigeria, you can survive anywhere, they say.
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Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Nick Tattersall