Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has called on citizens of West Africa's most populous country to embrace their culture and avoid the tendency "to think and believe that only things from foreign lands are good, modern or hip."
In his first major post on facebook after the concerns raised by the Independence Day bombing incident, President Jonathan said “Nigeria cannot have value beyond the value that Nigerians place on Nigeria and themselves. We need to soberly assess the value we place on ourselves because corporately we are what Nigeria is all about.''
He called on Nigerians to avoid placing a low premium on themselves and on their culture and added ''the truth is that if we have priced ourselves low, we cannot expect others to price us high.''
President Jonathan said Nigerians invest a lot of time and resources watching and following foreign football clubs, but "we do not currently commit such resources and time in following our local football. The other day I read that some of our people engage themselves in violence over the results of matches played in Europe! This is disturbing.”
The Nigerian leader however reiterated the commitment of government “to put in place the conditions that will make our local league attract the respect that will make others to come to our country to play."
''I remember I had to devote one of my facebook status updates to Nollywood in which I informed you of my instruction to our embassies and High Commissions to make promoting Nollywood part of their activities. Here at home, I want to encourage our cinemas to also project and promote Nollywood movies," the president said on the need to support Nigerian movies after expressing similar thought for the country’s music industry.
President Jonathan rounded off his post by reminding Nigerians of their greatness in different areas of human endeavours.
“We are the land of football (remember the miracle of Damman), the land of great music (remember FESTAC '77 when the black World stood still in Lagos), the land of good movies and television (remember that the first television studio in Africa was established in Ibadan) and the land of fashion (travel outside Nigeria and compare how Nigerians dress with the rest of the world) as such we should be grateful to God who has made us original pace setters in these areas by refusing to be copies of those who ought to copy us.”