A Professor of Mass Communication at the Lagos State University (LASU), Lai Oso, has said the “draconian policies” of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration have placed Nigerian media “under a siege.”
He said this on Thursday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, at the 7th Waheed Kadiri Lecture titled “The future of Journalism and Democracy in Nigeria.”
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The lecture was organised by the State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) in honour of a veteran Town planner and former Rector of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Waheed Kadiri.
He lamented that, the future of journalism and democracy in Nigeria is being threatened by the “authoritarian style of leadership”.
The communication scholar accused Buhari of formulating “draconian anti-press freedom” policies aimed at gaging the media.
Oso also noted that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has become “a willing tool” in the hands of the government, thereby imposing fines and other forms of sanctions on privately-owned broadcasting stations as if it was created to take private broadcasting out of business.”
The scholar also submitted that technology, commercialisation and ownership influence have adversely affected the content and influence of the media in Nigeria.
He said, “It appears the Nigerian mass media is under state-imposed siege. In order to capture the media and bend reality in the direction of its preferred worldview interests and hegemony, the government is deploying the instruments of the state against the media abs journalists.
“The government seems to have gone back to books of authoritarian press control and national interest, the Buhari administration and the National Assembly have tried on many occasions to enact legislations to muzzle freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
“The suspension of Twitter is part of this draconian anti-press freedom policy of the administration.”
In his remarks, Kadiri said, the lecture was organised to set agenda for development in the society and to put government on its toes.
He charged Nigerians to contribute their quota to national development, saying, “We are all in this together, the people are also part of the governance. We should also claim the right to be part of our governance, we should not always push things to the people in government alone.”