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The Nigerian Media And Their Influence In The Presidency - Politics - Nairaland

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The Nigerian Media And Their Influence In The Presidency by NIKKnJAZZ(f): 2:19pm On Jan 14, 2015
Having been in Nigeria for 10 months now, I have observed the workings of the Nigerian economy in all sectors - financial, educational, and political. For a country with mediocre journalism, the level of influence the media has on the economy is overwhelming. Let's focus on the political sector for now given the looming elections.

It was disappointing when over 20 gentlemen in various departments in my office confidently stated that there are only 2 candidates running for office when asked who the other candidates were. Watching the Sensitization Workshop on Non-Violence this morning definitely broadened their level of awareness, hopefully. With 14 hopefuls in the running, why are only 2 being sensationalized by the media?

The Nigerian political setting is not an either/or affair – it’s not either Republican or Democratic, it’s not either Liberal or Conservative – it is made up of different parties that are not categorized as Rep. or Dem. It is therefore, critical that all candidates represented by all parties are fairly introduced to the citizens of the country. Some may not even stand a chance (e.g. the candidate today who, during the Sensitization Workshop, stated that if he was the president of the country, he’ll eradicate the insurgency in ONE month). Even the current president, who has arguably failed in the area of security, had to laugh.

Do we blame this myopic outlook on the media? In other words, are the media been compensated backdoor to depict a certain reality to Nigerians? What is the trigger for media bias? Maybe the media are lazy to actually investigate themselves on who the candidates are and what they have to offer. Afterall, we keep hearing of the Boko Haram massacre resulting in hundreds and thousands of fatalities, but who is the journalist that actually went to these villages and towns to depict an accurate account of the lethal events? It took a journalist from Australia to go into the Sambisa forest in Northern Nigeria while the local media cowered in their respective offices and wrote tittle-tattles and hearsays on the kidnappings through their various forms of medium.

Or do we blame the Nigerian citizens? Do the citizens of the country have a herd mentality where it’s what the media reveals that counts? Is it necessary to swallow whatever the media waves in one’s optical view? Is it laziness on the part of the citizens to look deeper into what is really going on in the country and to realize that the media may not be a true depiction of reality? Why can’t the country’s citizens drift outside the prevalent box and make a decision as individuals not a collective unit?

Everyone in the country seeks change. Some say President Goodluck Jonathan is the charm, others agree General Muhammadu Buhari is the messiah for the change the country needs. But almost everyone is picking one of the 2 based on the general understanding that his/her candidate is the lesser of both evils. Why do we even need to pick a candidate that is ‘evil’, just because his own evil isn’t as evil as the other’s? Why can’t we shuffle through the other candidates been shut out by the popular media, hear them out and maybe find a ‘good’ president from the stone the builders rejected.

They say Goodluck is clueless and slow and corrupt. They say Buhari is a militant and an extremist and senile in his old age. A lot of Nigerians have opted not to vote because they don’t think either candidate can effect change. Why not seek information on the other lesser-known candidates and vote for someone in the pool? These two are not the only gladiators in the ring, but for some reason the media has tuned the majority of its citizens’ minds to this effect. A lot of other Nigerians feel obligated to vote, and will vote for either of the 2 because they have no knowledge of any other candidate.

The Sensitization Workshop video capture in the morning was distasteful and ignorant due to the way the media represented the event. The cameras were constantly on Goodluck and Buhari, even when other candidates were on the podium making their speeches. Why? When I listened to what the only female candidate, Professor Comfort Sonaiya, had to say, I was saddened that this is one voice that the vast Nigerians would never get to hear and appreciate. When she spoke, she garnered a round of applause from almost everyone in my department, but still they stood their grounds stating that a woman can never govern a man as women belong in the kitchen. Whether she’s the change highly needed and prayed for, they will never know due to the fact that she was born a woman. A couple of other hopefuls made good sense when they spoke on the podium, while others would be termed with the popular Nigerian word – “learner”.

For a country laden with a passion for education, it is a wonder that one of the 2 giant gladiators ferociously portrayed in the media has his highest qualification listed as WASC on the INEC website. This must be the West African Senior Certificate? A high school diploma? How does one who only has high school education be able to effectively promote higher education for the citizens of a country who place education in high regard?

Some Christians say they will vote for one over the other based on the fact that a Muslim leader will not be ideal for the country. Has the Christian leader been effective? Do the traits of a leader include his/her religion?

I believe when there is a separation of emotions based on tribes, religion, and s-ex organs from the vision of what a Nigerian president should be or look like, then the citizens of the country will be truly ready for change. Until then, the media will keep influencing the minds of the people, mentally steering them to vote for one of 2 select individuals.

May this giant of a nation find the change it seeks this year!


Re: The Nigerian Media And Their Influence In The Presidency by Nobody: 2:46pm On Jan 14, 2015
Awesome write-up. Honestly, unless you do some 'heavy' research, you will think the election is between GEJ & GMB only.

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Re: The Nigerian Media And Their Influence In The Presidency by NIKKnJAZZ(f): 3:45pm On Jan 14, 2015
Thank you.
I don't think it requires heavy research to figure out the people running for presidency. Heavy research is, however, needed to figure out what these people represent.

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