By Emma Ovuakporie

ABUJA — Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, has said Nigerians will never be treated like criminals again abroad after the showdown the country had with Sony Incorporation over the damaging advertisement that was eventually withdrawn.

In her words: “We need the international community to increasingly alter its unwholesome impression and treatment of  Nigerians and never shall we be treated like criminals again by asking us to step aside at airports for interrogation as if we are all criminals.”

Akunyili made this disclosure at an interactive session with journalists put together by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in collaboration with Del-York International Incorporation partners of the New York Film Academy, yesterday.

The Minister explained that “we need the world to see and perceive Nigeria as the bastion of global African renaissance, which is what we are and we need well researched stories about our past and present in reels of pictures that raise the esteem of the Nigerian presence anywhere and everywhere in the world.

“Enough of all these ritual, 419 stories as they portray Nigerians wrongly outside this shores. There are better stories like the Liberian war that we played a significant role and those like South Africa that we helped to chase away colonial masters.”

She, however, promised the organisers of the film academy scheduled for February next year government support to achieve good quality films in the Nigerian film industry.

Earlier, Managing Director of Del International, Mr Linus Idahosa, had traced the history of the Nigerian film industry to 1947 and stressed that “film is used to project and preserve national heritage, identity and a powerful tool for transmission of indigenous culture.”

Also,  a Nigerian actress, one of the coordinators of the Del York project, Ms Stephanie Okereke, said: “The film academy is designed for all Nigerians that have the primary ability to grasp. Our brothers that once embrace guns in the Niger Delta can shoot with cameras rather than using guns.”

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