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Door of Return 2020 is FAKE & was NOT Modelled After Year of Return

Photo Credit: OccupyGh 2 mins read

News outlets claim Nigeria has copied Ghana’s successful #Yearofreturn initiative and has produced the “Door of Return” program.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has disassociated itself from the claim with respect to the policy document in circulation. However, the Door of Return Program has been in existence since 2017. 

Full Text

Nigeria is being trolled by social media users in Ghana for allegedly planning its own version of Ghana’s Year of Return. This follows viral images suggesting the country intends to launch an initiative dubbed “Door of Return – Nigeria 2020” later this year.

Twitter excerpt

News portals in Ghana have published reports of the purported launch.

Verification

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), which the policy document mentions as in charge of the program, has disassociated itself from the claim. According to a disclaimer issued by the NIDCOM via its Twitter handle, the policy document in circulation is not from the agency or anyone acting on its behalf. Neither NIDCOM nor the Federal Government of Nigeria is involved in any such program.

Nigeria, however, has a Door of Return Program that has existed since 2017. NIDCOM, the Lagos State Government, the African Door of Experience and the African Renaissance Foundation are responsible for this initiative. The most recent, the 2019 edition, took place from October 15-20 in Badagry, Lagos.

NIDCOM also stated its support for other African countries adopting this initiative; further dissuading any insinuations to a competition between Ghana. It rather commended Ghana’s efforts.

#YearofReturn

The government of Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’ campaign has seen significant success having added $1.9 million to Ghana’s economy. The Ghanian President launched the campaign in September 2018 to commemorate 400 years since the first batch of Africans were abducted from their homeland.

Conclusion

Although a Door of Return Program has been organised by NIDCOM, the Lagos State Government, the African Door of Experience and the African Renaissance Foundation since 2017, the document in circulation is not from the agency. More so, the Door of Return Program began a year prior to the Year of Return initiative; hence, it stands to reason that the former could not be imitating the latter as insinuated by the claim- which was misled by false advertisement NIDCOM has refuted.

Caroline Anipah is the Programme Officer of DUBAWA, Ghana. She holds an MPhil in Communication Studies and an undergraduate degree in English and Political Science from the University of Ghana. She is a trained journalist and has engaged in various research activities with notable institutions including Ghana Statistical Service, German Development Institute (GIZ) and the USAID Evaluate for Health over the years. She has also worked with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) on a regional (West Africa-wide) comprehensive research on the state of the media. She brings to the project and team, her experience in both media and research.

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