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Media setting Nigeria ablaze?

The media seem to have one dominant narrative, which is repeated to the point of exhaustion:

Whatever is the eventual fate of Nigeria as one indivisible entity,  it’s clear that the forces that are overwhelming her existence owe a great deal to the country’s media. In fact, it would be true to say that the media has been one of the prime movers in the crisis engulfing the 61-year-old country.

Today, threat of secession mounted by some groups with the enthusiastic connivance of the media and opposition parties using some sectors of the Nigerian population disillusioned with the democratic process and political leaders in general speaks volume of our patriotism as citizens of this great country.

The media seem to have one dominant narrative, which is repeated to the point of exhaustion: marginalisation and nepotism. Nigerians are subjected to this simplistic narrative on a 24-hour basis – it is rolled out to justify every accusation against President Muhammadu Buhari and his government.

With few exceptions, media narratives over the past few years have done little to explain to Nigerians the consequences of violent agitations something that has deepened social unrest in Nigeria and weakened its fragile hold on democracy.

Many analysts argue that sections of the media have had a role in stimulating hate, acting irresponsibly  and creating divisions in the country. This is seen as a consequence of the failure of media reform in Nigeria.

Nigeria was once the darling of the international community for having survived civil war and military dictatorships and for building a relatively modern society with a strong economy.

Now, far from strengthening and consolidating these gains, there is a real risk of setting the clock back on democracy and impeding the country’s economic recovery.

As the economy falters and the country’s politics polarises into violently opposing camps, the future of democracy in Nigeria is at risk. These are dangerous times for our country. We must join hands to salvage the situation.

Hussaini Mohammed Isa,

Plot 68, Gbazango Layout Off Gado Nasko Way, Kubwa, Abuja


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