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Opinions of Friday, 16 July 2021

Columnist: David Owaboye

Why gag the media?

Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan

The media is the medium by which information is disseminated to every corner of the world, be it print or broadcast, and it has helped even the most remote places to know what goes on in the world by the virtue of its strength.

There is no country of the world that can boast of not needing the media for it to function to its full capacity. So, the media is like water and blood in the human system; take one out and the other extinguishes. So, when I read or listen to people talk about restricting or confining the media to a particular corner in the name of “removing bottlenecks that affect media performance”, it makes me laugh because it simply shows that the government of the day is going totally extreme and it’s not looking good in all fronts.

Who really are the bottlenecks if I may ask? The people who are doing everything to gag the media are the real bottlenecks but they are now pretending to be the friends to the media. What a bunch of contradictions!

First, why is it that the government of the day is afraid of the media? Why are they fidgeting when the media sneezes? What are they hiding or trying to hide that they believe taken the media out of the way will give them leeway to executing their plans? Because if there is nothing sinister, I don’t see the reason behind all this acrimonious marriage between the once “two lovebirds” who cannot do without each other.

The ironical aspect of the whole saga is that the President found a way to surround himself with media persons in Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, who are renowned journalists themselves, yet the media is somehow in a “cold war” with the government. Something is not really adding up here unless these presidential aides on media to the President are telling him something that has put fear in him which looks like “if you don’t restrict them now, you’ll regret it” kind of.

To be fair, the media in Nigeria has done very well in their reportage on all fronts, and with limitIt’s now obvious that the government wants everyone to zip up and not say a word in a world that information empowers but is it going to work?

First it was Facebook, later it turned to the whole social network and then Twitter.

As if that’s not enough, the radio and television houses not forgetting the newspapers are now among the bodies that would be gagged. It shows how our system has deteriorated and the height of decadence we are grappling with as a people.ed budget, because as far as I know, they are one of the lowest earners nationwide yet, they always stay on their duty post making sure the citizens stayed educated, entertained and most importantly informed.

They may not be perfect just like every other sector but you can’t deny their impact in society, even in the election that brought the present regime into power, they were everywhere.