Fighting dirty in the master’s name

Ogunsakin Mustapha
8 Min Read
Prof Hope Eghagha

By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Barsisa: Tension in the country over political issues has risen to burning levels. It is frightening. Only God can save us from a descent into anarchy.
Kalagbor: Aren’t we in an anarchic state already? Poverty. Hunger. Lack of trust. Shedding of innocent blood. These have become a refrain in our national discourse!
Majeed: How did we get it so wrong? What went wrong? This is not the Nigeria we grew up in.
Ejine: The one which baffles me is how erstwhile friends have become bitter foes, not greeting each other, not speaking to each other, ready to tear down the bridge of friendship built over time.
Okoli: Why do some people fight so dirty and viciously in the name of their master, for their master?
Ajunwa: It is a good question. It is funny that when some of those so-called masters meet privately on even in public places they hug and laugh off the joke that is politics.
Ngozi: Simple rules of etiquette have been discarded. One of our politicians, was it Adedibu once said that if you want to know who your mother dated before she married your father you should join politics!
Kola: Hahahahaha! Yes o! it was Adedibu, the strong man of Ibadan politics who said it, the man who played Amala politics.
Ngozi: Such bitterness and vile coming from the mouths and hearts of minions. Their principals are more civil when they meet as Ajunwa said.
Isi: Yet their followers will swear and curse at each other. Look at the fierce battle between Arise TV and the media men of Senator Bola Tinubu. How could they be so personal, so brutal?
Ejine: And washing their dirty linen in public.
Rukky: Let them wash their dirty linen in public jor; let them do. Our elders say that the anus of fowl is exposed anytime the wind blows!
Isi: You have come again o, you, and your proverbs!
Helen: Let him dish them out. Our proverbs are rich in thoughts and culture.
Isi: Which one is anus of fowl in this matter?
Elo: That is the koko of the matter. Exposing the rot hidden in the hearts and homes of those who claim to lead us.
Allwell: I am a politician, but I am worried about the savagery on the political scene. Even the two main political parties have not been ale to put their house in order.
Rukky: But politicians thrive when things are chaotic. They pretend to restore order after creating disorder!
Cyril: That na true o! That is how and when they spend security votes on their girlfriends.
Allwell: That is being sarcastic.
Udechukwu: Sarcastic sagacity! Na wa for grammar.
Isi: Can Arise TV ever be objective on any matter that concerns BAT?
Udechukwu: There is no objectivity anymore. I remember our Mass Communication classes in the university when American trained teachers taught us about objectivity and how we thought CNN and BBC were always objective. They are objective with a slant.
Barsisa: That is right. All media houses have their goals and objectives. Its like Fox News and CNN. They report the same event but with a different slant.
Ejine: Fox News is an entertainment channel; not a serious news channel.
Kalagbor: Some will not agree with you on this.
Isi: Did you guys read the savage attacks on both sides of the gladiators?
Kalagbor: I did. It is now clear that that TV station is pursuing an agenda. Is that what media houses should do?
Majeed: Good question; good question. But that one is hypothesis and hypothesis no be garri!
Udechukwu: That is true o; hypothesis no dey bring garri come table!
Isi: I still believe that reporting should be nuanced. There should be no persona acrimony.
Ngozi: I agree with you Isi. Do you recall how Dr. Walter Ofonagoro as Director-General used the NTA to fight the NPN battles in the Second Republic? How the station became an arm of Ministry of Information? That station subsequently lost its credibility. Who watches NTA these days?
Helen: Sad. NTA used to be great with fantastic programmes until the government decided that TV stations should become propaganda channels for their inanities.
Barsisa: In my view, TV and radio channels should report the news, not make the news. Some of those TV personalities have started creating news out of themselves. They are too partisan.
Majeed: True. If BAT says he doesn’t want to appear for a live debate in their station, they should let him be and let the public decide on what to do. Na by force?
Isi: But why should a politician who wants to govern a country avoid public debates?
Ngozi: That is another matter. But Atiku did not show up for the debate too. He sent his running mate to represent him.
Udechukwu: These are expired old men who cannot withstand a barrage of questions. Did you watch the charade at Chatham House?
Majeed: Disgraceful!
Allwell: I don’t know why Nigerian politicians should go to London to explain what they plan to do for Nigeria! Those people cannot vote.
Rukky: Colonial mentality is still very much in place. President macron will not go to America to woo people if he wants votes in France. We need a factory reset in the country! Period.
Elo: Hohohohoho! I laugh in Isoko!
Philo: It is not a laughing matter.
Cyril: It is not a laughing matter, yet I cannot cry for Nigeria.
Elo: Overtake don overtake overtake!
Kalagbor: What is our conclusion?
Ejine: Ajunwa can give us a summary.
Ajunwa: We have resolved that media houses should not be partisan and should not fight dirty. That they should not have paymasters whose views they push. That objectivity must be maintained to guarantee the integrity of news reporting. That news reporters are not, should be newsmakers while reporting society to the world. That once an umpire joins the game, he can no longer be a neutral person.
Isi: Great! Must politicians desecrate all public institutions?
Kalagbor: Must journalists allow themselves to be used to desecrate public institutions?

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