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Introducing – “419 Reasons to Like Nigeria”

Dating far back to the 80’s, the term ‘419’ has associated Nigeria and Nigerians primarily with online financial scams – ‘Advance Fee Fraud’. Most unfortunately, the situation exacerbated to such an extent that the internet became overwhelmed with such negative news attributed to Nigeria.

In response to this, ‘The 419Positive Project’ was initiated, with an ambitious objective of generating four hundred and nineteen positive attributes about Nigeria and Nigerians. “If you could tell the world one remarkable thing about Nigeria and Nigerians, what would it be?” Furthermore, in Peter Reilly’s Forbes blog post (Aug 28, 2011), he suggested a similar intervention to his Nigerian audience – “Make lists of 419 reasons to like Nigeria and Nigerians…” His suggestion came as one remedial to his previous post (Nigerians Switching From Greed to Fear), after some Nigerians took exceptions to his views. Other online posts by Chika Uwazie, Nmachi Jidenma and Akin Akintayo, have further lent a voice in this regard.

Pulling these ideas and suggestions together, an online rebranding campaign is being furthered. The aim is clear – to consistently inundate the internet with positive Nigerian attributes, such that when anyone types in ‘419’ in a search engine, it yields positive commentary about Nigeria, irrespective of the pre-existing negativity. This drive is labelled 419 Reasons to Like Nigeria. Awareness is currently being ramped up online, with the topic having trended on Twitter in the early hours of 2nd of September. There will be the big bang launch on October 1, 2011 (Independence Day), of at least 100 Nigerian blogs and sites listing four hundred and nineteen remarkable reasons to like Nigeria, with subsequent monthly blog publishing till the end of 2011.

Every Nigerian with a blog, website, and online presence of any sort (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, account etc.) is encouraged to volunteer and be a part of this campaign. With sincerity and candour, it is true that some, in times past, have contributed unfortunately to the prevailing negative association of ‘419’ with Nigeria, however, the time is NOW for us to counter-strategise by providing alternative content via an online rebranding initiative.

To register your interest, simply send an email to volunteer@419Positive.org, with the subject –CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER, and be sure to provide contact details (email address) so you can be reached subsequently. Volunteers will be contacted latest by the 9th of September, 2011.

Be a part of this drive…the time is now! Let’s tell the world 419 Reasons to Like Nigeria.

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Discussion

11 thoughts on “Introducing – “419 Reasons to Like Nigeria”

  1. I do not agree with this branding thing. All we will end up doing is lying to ourselves and perhaps the rest of the World. We cannot be better or solve our problems by calling ourselves a good name or bearing some fictitous label. We need to tell ourselves the truth and then make plausible efforts at resolving these problems. A dirty man will not suddenly become clean by just saying or telling everyone that he is clean, he needs to take a bath.

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    Posted by Nwaugba Fidelis A | September 5, 2011, 3:46 pm
    • That’s a typical response which we have all given at some point or the other. This is not about labeling..the question to everyone is this – Can you personally stop/prevent scammers? the answer is NO! What then can you do, as a person? You can provide alternative content, by joining this campaign….it’s ONE thing you can do, personally…no one says it fixes everything, no…but it’s one good step. Think about it, and join the campaign.

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      Posted by kunledurojaiye | September 5, 2011, 3:55 pm
  2. I think this idea is noble & worth pursuing. Granted there are negative stories about Nigeria but there are also positive ones too & these must be told the world.

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    Posted by Ayo Adebamowo | September 5, 2011, 10:51 pm
  3. I agree with fidelis to an extent, but that dosen’t mean well meaning Nigerians are going to keep shut while the soboteurs run the show… Its a very, very good idea. I better way of rebranding. But for it to be efficacious, it has to go beyound writing! I’m IN. GOD bless 9ja in PEACE PROFOUND!

    Like

    Posted by johnpaul nnamdi | September 6, 2011, 4:49 am
    • Nnamdi, thanks for reading and commenting. Good point. We shouldn’t keep quiet, if there is something we can do, no matter how little. Most importantly, it should go beyond writing. Spot on!!! Pls send your contact details to the email address stated. Thanks

      Like

      Posted by kunledurojaiye | September 6, 2011, 9:52 am
  4. why do we like lying to ourselves. No amount of online campaign will change who we are.come to think of it, from time immemorial, action has been louder than words.naija is a country where the govt does not honor aggreement it reached with its own pple, look at what we did to EFCC? Despite all d effort USA put into training d guys there, where banks dat were broke were declaring profits, a country where pple that could not control their families ruled us, i can just go on and on.

    Like

    Posted by asha | September 6, 2011, 8:26 am
  5. This is quite thoughtful and worth doing. But it should not be left to just this alone, Nigerians should also be encouraged to follow up with positive actions…..

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    Posted by Toro. | September 6, 2011, 10:17 am
  6. This is a start, Toro and a noble one to be precise. even if this campaign is the first drop of water in this ocean, the rains will pour soon when we all tear up and fill Nigerias open basin…and then “Nigerias belly will flow with rivers of living water”.

    Like

    Posted by sanmi abiodun | September 22, 2011, 5:54 pm

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