" /> Now, how will he govern? (4) | Hallmarknews
Published On: Tue, Jun 16th, 2015

Now, how will he govern? (4)

…Threats & dangers to the Jonathan Presidency
The conventional wisdom is that the result of the last presidential election was simply a matter of an unpopular president Goodluck Jonathan losing to a more popular candidate, Gen. Muhammad Buhari. Well, it’s not really as simple as that. Over three years ago – indeed, shortly after his election in 2011 – I had done a-3-part series, which eerily predicted the outcome of Jonathan’s administration and his eventual electoral fate.
I am reproducing the article here for you, dear readers, to see for yourself how history often repeats itself. And how right I was three years ago…. The series began last month

During the 2nd and 3rd republics, any Easterner who aspired to power usually went North to look for money. But for providence and Obasanjo, it would have been interesting to see how Jonathan would have gathered the resources to prosecute a presidential campaign. Now that he is in power, it will be interesting to see how Jonathan is empowering his people. During the Presidency of Shehu Shagari, Northern Alhajis acquired the import licenses which they sold to Igbo traders usually at a hefty premium. Now, who are those who would win the multi-billion naira contracts? Who gets the oil blocks? Who wins the licenses to lift crude? Who are appointed into the juicy ministries? In short, who are given the licenses to make money? Recently, this newspaper conducted a research to determine the ten biggest players in corporate Nigeria. Of the ten names published, not even one was from the former Eastern region. An Aliko Dangote, a Mike Adenuga, a Femi Otedola and a Jimoh Ibrahim is bigger than virtually any state in Jonathan’s part of town. And none of them is his kinsman! Each of these individuals was a product of a power system which created the enabling framework for them to emerge and succeed exceedingly. So, if you are wondering what is stopping Jonathan, maybe you will be comforted to know that I am wondering as well.

The Strategic Media
One of the indices of power, especially in a democracy, is ownership of the mass media. Long before this reporter wore diapers, operators in the power arena had identified the media as a crucial element in the perennial struggle to win, control and sustain power. Hitler, a consummate power player, realized the invaluable power of the mass media and so he put the famed Goebbels to effective use. Politics and power are sustained by propaganda, which is a direct product of the mass media. That is why in authoritarian states, ownership and control of the media are heavily restricted.

The aphorism that power flows from the ball-pen, still holds true, even though revisionist historians, pressured by the spectre of coups and counter-coups in the Africa of the late 21st century would rather opine that power flows from the barrel of the gun. In liberal societies, the mass media is not only a thriving industry, it is also a strong instrument of power. Indeed, the ability to influence, manipulate and control public opinion is essential in determining the control of power.

In Nigeria, mainly due to the realities of its late start in Western education, the North has lagged behind in the ownership and control of the mass media. Yet, the Northern oligarchy understood the power of the press, so it used its position in the Federal Government to support and finance the New Nigerian Newspaper, an ostensible Federal Government-owned institution, which mainly promoted and defended Northern interests. In the words of a former editor of the Newspaper, Mohammed Haruna, “that was the main reason the newspaper was set up.”

During her tenure as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeline Albright famously said that “CNN was the sixth member of the United Nations Security Council.”
In Nigeria, the mass media is primarily owned, controlled and dominated by the South West. In the muted battle for the control of Nigeria, the South West took over the media while the North retained the military and political power. He who controls the media actually controls the minds of the people. In Nigeria, the media have often functioned as the alternate government. In the last fifteen years, its power and influence have grown almost exponentially, especially in the pro-June 12 struggle and its aftermath. Adjunct members of the mass media fraternity are the civic organizations, including the plethora of human rights organizations, trade unions and even increasingly, Pentecostal Christian movements. At the informal level, all these groups are led by the veteran activist, Wole Soyinka and the successive generation of activists he has spawned.

Unknown to many Nigerians, a serious disquiet arose about four years ago, among the South West elite that the region was losing its dominance of the mass media to the South South. This was in recognition of the South South growing strength in mass media ownership. Some of the more notable newspaper titles are owned by indigenes of the South South; Guardian, Thisday, Vanguard, Daily Independence. They also dominate the electronic media with Silverbird, Channels, AIT. Perhaps to underline the importance of the media, the South West moved and reclaimed the top spot with Bola Tinubu, Gbenga Daniel and Jimoh Ibrahim establishing media empires.

The lack of strong South East presence in the mass-media is indicative of the zone’s near-irrelevance in Nigeria’s political calculus. There is hardly an Igbo perspective to national issues, whether political, economic or social. The growing impotence of the South East is underlined by its muted voice and lack of a mouthpiece. Even Orji Kalu’s The Sun Newspaper, successful on the newsstand as it is, is effeminate and does not pack a punch! If you probe deeply, its dilemma arises from the fact that it does not have any original perspective to advocate, which in itself epitomizes Kalu’s pathetic viscosity.

However, what is remarkable is that despite the significant South South presence in mass media ownership, the Nigerian press is still dominated by the South West. The intellectual vision and world view of the press is decidedly western in thought, in logic and in spirit. The reason for this is simple, though it may not be immediately obvious to the un-discerning.

The South South is virtually an extension of the South West. Thanks to Awo’s masterful politics, the South South states of Edo and Delta are virtually South Western in their politics and world view. That was why the AG, the UPN and the AC have all enjoyed popular following in the South South. At any rate, there was no South South for the greater part of Nigerian history. The South South states of Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom share more features in common with the South East, with which they owe a historical, socio-economic and even cultural legacy. So in the mass media, the South South is actually Yoruba. And at any rate, whereas the South South may own the newspapers, it is the South West intellectual manpower that run them. Even more crucially, it is the South West world view that they espouse, even when such is disguised as pro-democracy, human rights and anti-corruption crusades.

To be continued.

Prince Emeka Obasi's photo.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Recent posts

  • Time is ripe for rates cut, says Rewane as inflation slows further in Oct.

    FELIX OLOYEDE This is the appropriate time for the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cut benchmark monetary rates after inflation rate slows down for the ninth consecutive time in October, said Mr Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives. The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released Consumer Price […]

  • ELAN National Lease Conference Focuses on Revamping Nigerian Economy

    FELIX OLOYEDE In furtherance of its objective of promoting the business of leasing in Nigeria, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) has concluded plans to organise the 15th Annual National Lease Conference with focus on revamping the Nigerian economy. The conference which is the biggest gathering of stakeholders in the leasing industry is expected to […]

  • Nigeria-centric restaurant, Labule, opens new outlet in Lagos

    Labule, Nigeria-centric restaurant, operated by an indigenous company, Roots Foods Limited, offering real Nigerian local delicacies in a unique environment that combines the setting of a modern quick service restaurant with that of an African setting of a local ‘buka’, has opened a new outlet on Admiralty Road in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The brand […]

  • Nigerian banks shine in Ghana

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigerian banks have been credited with “revolutionizing “the banking sector in Ghana, due to the many innovations they brought to Ghana’s banking sector. The Ghana Deputy Minister of Trade and Investment Hon. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah said in Lagos that the innovation and transformation of the Ghana’s banking sector is credited to the […]

  • Ajimobi moves to save Oyo APC from disintegration

    By OLUSESAN LAOYE The seeming crisis in Oyo APC has now forced the Governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, to begin consultations with stakeholders to convinced members on why they must come together as a body to face the 2019 general elections, Although the internal crisis is yet to break open as the aggrieved party […]

  • YolaDisCo sale stalled as no potential buyers emerge

    By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU Two years after the core investors of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, YolaDisCo, declared a force majeure owing to their inability to operate under the reign of terror unleased by Boko Haram, the Federal Government is yet to find any investor interested in operating the utility company, it has been learnt. In […]

  • Company Analysis: Much Ado about Seplat

      By TESLIM SHITA-BEY The oil and gas sector has had a bumpy since the beginning of 2017 with local oil major, Seplat, seeing its financials whipped raw by prior year liabilities despite rising revenues over the nine months (9M). The company in the last two years has moved from being distinctively bad to singularly […]

  • How to start a photography business

    By ZUBAIR DANIE While photography could be accounted for as a full blown course in any offering institution of learning for professionalism, the field equally provides a platform for individuals whose passion it is to project images as a form of livelihood. The socio-cultural aspect of Nigerians that play host of events like: wedding, naming, […]

  • BOFE to celebrate unsung heroes in local communities

    OluwasolaJesuseitan, a brand and advertising expert, is an advocate of sustainable brand communications. He is also the founder, Business Owners Forum Enterprise (BOFE), a non-profit making organization, which seeks to build the capacity of business owners in and around Akute, Ogun State. He tells FELIX OLOYEDE in this interview of his organization is promoting business […]

  • Lager wars: Who wins?

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigeria has many lager beer producing companies, some have been in existence for over 50 years while others are quite new in existence in the country. Some of these companies that have over the years churned out millions, if not billions of bottles of beer to Nigerian drinkers are: Nigeria Breweries Plc, […]

  • Nestle sparkles in Q3 results

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU As the packaged Consumer goods (PCG) sector struggles to stay ahead of falling consumer demand, companies such as Nestle Nigeria plc are bucking the trend of businesses with shrinking bottom lines. Indeed the multi-product packaged goods producer has seen earnings rise to mind boggling with its pre-tax profit rising by a stunning […]

  • 2018 Budget proposals renew old anxieties

          FELIX OLOYEDE   Mixed reactions trailed the presentation of the 2018 federal government budget by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly (NASS) last week. Public policy analysts have expressed moods from the congenially positive to the outright incredulous. The staggering N8.6 trillion expenditure plan is one of the most audacious in […]

  • Anambra 2017: Obiano battles for life

    By Obinna Ezugwu The time has finally arrived. On Saturday the people of Anambra State will head to the polls to either renew the mandate of the incumbent state governor, Chief Willie Obiano who is running for a second term in office, or elect fresh hands from among other prominent contenders, including Mr. Oseloka Obaze […]

  • (Editorial) CBN’s BVN distraction and matters arising

    Nigeria’s fiscal and monetary authorities have a frustrating way of responding to the seizure of private assets; they typically gloat with glazed eyes over private citizen’s money ready to pounce on the cash like a pack of hyenas starved witless. The recent order by the Central Bank of Nigeria that customer accounts that are not […]

  • 12 Yoga tips for beginners

    The popularity of yoga has soared in the last decades, and it seems that every other friend and acquaintance of ours is already practicing it. But don’t let it fool you into thinking it is easy: yoga is quite challenging, especially for beginners. The good news is that there are some practical tips to make […]

  • Finally, embattled IGP, Ibrahim Idris, appears before Senate

    The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has arrived before the Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate the allegations and counter-allegations between him and Senator Isa Misau. The IGP was accompanied by his lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN) and Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.   Details […]


Visit us on Google+