Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has addressed the backlash she faced after posting a picture of herself with President Bola Tinubu in France. The criticism arose when Okonjo-Iweala shared the pictures on her Twitter page, capturing moments from the recently concluded leadership summit held in Paris.
Among the photos she shared were those taken with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, French President Emmanuel Macron, and other world leaders. However, the absence of President Tinubu in the initial posts sparked discontent, particularly among members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who viewed it as an insult not only to the president but also to the country.
Responding to the criticisms on Saturday, Okonjo-Iweala took to her Twitter handle to express her views, deeming the backlash unwarranted. She clarified that the photos were shared in the order they were received from her colleagues. The former finance minister emphasized that the ensuing controversy highlighted the deep polarization within Nigeria.
The incident has further exposed the divisions within the country, as individuals and political affiliations interpreted the photo controversy in different ways. Okonjo-Iweala’s response aims to address the criticisms and provide clarification, shedding light on the order in which the photos were shared. The situation raises questions about the impact of social media and the perception of public figures in a polarized environment.
Okonjo-Iweala wrote: “Nigerians please relax! Re Paris, Interesting attacks from both sides. Sadly shows the depth of polarization in our society.
“I post photos in the order received by accompanying staff or colleagues. Reading more into it is unwarranted. Let’s unite to build our country, not attack!”