Abike-Dabiri Calls on Arise TV CEO to Rein in Anchors Following Emdee Tiamiyu Controversy
Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri, has expressed her strong disapproval of the recent comments made by broadcasters and presenters of Arise Television. Dabiri’s discontent stems from the remarks made by an Arise TV anchor, Ayo Mairo-Ese, based on an interview with Emdee Tiamiyu on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). These comments were perceived as supporting the supposed ban on Nigerian students bringing their dependents to the United Kingdom.
During a morning show, Ayo Mairo-Ese criticized President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of labeling Nigerian youths as lazy and prone to criminal behavior. Additionally, the anchor claimed that Dabiri had also referred to Nigerian youths as drug dealers and cultists. In response to the interview, Dabiri voiced her disagreement, emphasizing that Nigerian individuals tend to portray their own people negatively on the international stage. She cited President Buhari’s previous remarks in 2016, where he had characterized Nigerian youths as predominantly lazy and implied that the United Kingdom should refuse asylum to them due to their criminal tendencies. Dabiri concluded that Emdee Tiamiyu’s statements align with the sentiments expressed by Nigerian leaders.
Expressing her displeasure on Twitter, Dabiri refuted the claims made by the presenter and called for a reconsideration of the orientation provided to the female presenters of Arise TV. In her tweet, she defended her hard-earned achievements, cautioning those who seek to undermine her with baseless remarks that they will face the consequences of their actions. Dabiri also urged Nduka Obaigbena, the Chairman of Arise TV, to take appropriate action against the presenters who she believes are tarnishing the broadcast profession.
According to earlier reports by The PUNCH, Emdee Tiamiyu had granted an interview to the BBC, wherein he asserted that Nigerian individuals applying to study in the United Kingdom often view it as an opportunity to escape from Nigeria rather than to pursue further education. Tiamiyu, renowned for providing guidance to Nigerians regarding studying abroad, observed that many Nigerians were not primarily seeking new qualifications but rather aiming to start a new life overseas.
“The student route is akin to an answered prayer. It provides a significant avenue for numerous individuals, particularly those from ordinary backgrounds,” Tiamiyu explained. “However, we are increasingly witnessing individuals who simply exploit the student pathway. Therefore, the student motive is not genuine, and the pursuit of degrees is not their primary goal,” he added.
The remarks made by Emdee Tiamiyu and the subsequent exchange between Abike Dabiri and the broadcasters at Arise TV have sparked a contentious debate, highlighting the divergent opinions regarding Nigerian students’ motivations for studying in the United Kingdom and the portrayal of Nigerian youths by their own leaders and media.