Here are some reactions from Nigerians
"why should CNN aired a programme that focused solely on Nigerian fraudsters and made absolutely no mention of the fact that fraud in the United States is not a Nigerian-created industry. ‘Anyone, particularly the less knowledgeable - who watched this programme would probably come away thinking that Nigerians are all fraudsters because this programme completely ignored the crimes committed by the other ‘foreigners’ that make up the diverse American culture. It’s a good thing Nigerians are not responsible for the collapse of world giant companies such WorldCom, Enron, Arthur Andersen among others, resulting in the lost of billions of dollars by innocent shareholders, customer and so on".
One Nigerian questioned why we have not seen or heard CNN generalise and make stereotypic attributes about Italian Americans because of a few who are involved in organised crime; or portray all Colombians in America as cocaine dealers or drug lords, because of the act of a few Colombians. ‘CNN knows that it would be wrong to portray every Afghan in America as a Taliban terrorist! So why would CNN paint Nigerians with such negative broad-brush generalisations? Why should CNN be engaged in such pedestrian journalism? Could this be attributed to racism? What was the motive behind this negative portrayal?’
"The truth of the matter is that the credit card fraudsters, the con artists, the drug couriers who seem to attract the attention of the international media constitute a minority. The majority of Nigerians is made up of honest, hardworking persons who are trying to earn a living. There may be problems in terms of the value system, in terms of an obsession with money for its own sake. But there is nothing in Nigeria that is so different from other countries. There are more criminals in America than there are in the whole of Nigeria. How about the ENRON scandal, the mismanagement of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, the robberies and killings on the streets of America: do these necessarily make every American a gangster? Indians and Koreans come to this country to do business and they treat our people badly but I don't consider either Indians or Koreans superior to Nigerians. If the CNN were to investigate Italians and Hispanics, its investigators would find a lot to put on air, except they may not consider it politically correct to do so.
Malawians and Kenyans complain about too much witchcraft in Nigeria: they are responding to fiction not reality. Nigerian home videos are shown on MultiChoice, so they base their impressions on what they see on television. American films are full of violence but it hasn't stopped people from thinking that it is "God's own country". Nigeria is not as Hellish as they imagine. South Africans are flocking to Nigeria and setting up businesses through which they exploit the population to make huge profits! Average Americans come here and live in big mansions that they would never dream of owning in their own country. Indians, Lebanese and Koreans set up factories here and they never want to go back home. The Chinese are also flocking to Nigeria, and setting up Chinatown everywhere. Other Africans from Benin, Cameroun, Ghana, Togo, Niger and Chad struggle, illegally to obtain Nigerian passports and identity cards. Portfolio investors from Europe and the United States are all over our hotels, looking for business. It may well be that they are exploiting the country's limitations but if this was truly Hell, they wouldn't stay this long!"
"I work eighty hours a week in New York City and there are many Nigerians who hold two jobs in America. The great majority of Nigerians in America are decent and dignified persons and we have no apologies to make to anyone for the behavior of a few Nigerians. We resent being measured and grouped with miscreants or criminal elements.
Unless the new logic is that all Americans should bury their heads in shame because of the frauds and criminal acts of Mr. Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling of Enron? All Americans should be ashamed for the criminal behaviors of the executives of Enron which joins WorldCom, Adelphia and Tyco, AIG, Halliburton etc, all of them, American companies that have engaged in the most egregious corporate frauds.
Unless the new logic is that all Americans should now bury their heads in shame for the brutal killings by some American soldiers in Haditha in Iraq, and the now infamous abuses by American military personnel in Afghanistan or Abu Gharib in Iraq and at Guantannamo Bay prisons in Cuba or the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam. Decent Nigerians in America and worldwide have nothing to apologize for or be ashamed about!"
"CNN has engaged in pedestrian journalism with its generalizations about Nigerians. We are sure than CNN would not generalize about Italians Americans because of a few who are involved in organized crime or Mafia. And I am sure that CNN will not portray all Colombians in America as cocaine dealers, because of the act of a few Colombians. CNN knows that it will be wrong to portray every Afghan in America as a Taliban terrorist!"
Nigerians worldwide object in the strongest of terms, to CNN’s false and stereotypical depictions and negative portrayal of Nigerians carte blanche.