The Nigerian society is plagued with many problems and the cowardice of the mainstream media is a big part of that problem. I grew up thinking just NTA belonged to the government therefore they controlled their narratives. However, reality has shown that the entire mainstream media are nothing but pencils in the hands of the Nigerian government. Yes, mere pencils that only tell the stories their masters wish to be told.
This week, the youths and some well-meaning members of the older generation decided to ask for the disbandment of SARS. People came out in their numbers in Lagos, Abuja, Delta, Oyo, and other states in the country to demand the end of SARS; yet no mainstream media is reporting this vital information and life-changing movement. None of them are reporting how police officers are shooting at unarmed peaceful protesters.
Consequently, they have successfully kept the millions of Nigerians that are not on social media unaware of the happenings in the society. The perfect enablers of poor governance and smooth peddlers of lies. Trust them at your own risk.
Ironically, when the #blacklivematters hashtag was trending on social media and people were protesting in the U.S and other places, the situation was a hot topic in the Nigerian mainstream media. However, they have suddenly gone quiet and blind now that a powerful hashtag is being trended backed with protests here in Nigeria.
Truthfully, when they said, “Take care of home before impressing the streets.” The Nigeria mainstream media left the group and blocked the admin. A true shame to the ideas and essence of media and journalism.
The Nigerians youths have been tagged lazy, keypad warriors, and many more condescending names. Today, they are risking their lives to demand the end of a police unit that does the opposite of what they were created for. Sadly, the mainstream media is helping the government drown their efforts and paint a picture of absolute nothingness. This is a betrayal and it is very painful to watch.
When you turn on your T.V it appears as if no protest is going on. When you turn on your radio, no one is having the End SARZ discussion. When you buy a newspaper, it is not in any of the headlines. It is now obvious that the loyalty of the mainstream media lies with the government and not the people. The idea of the independence of the media is nothing but a sham. Another lie told to the public.
The government is bent on taking sovereignty from the people, but thanks to social media, especially Twitter, our voices are being heard at the right places. International media powerhouses like CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera are now aware of the protests. They are reporting on it and hopefully, this time, not even the silence of the Nigerian mainstream media will help the government sweep this issue under the carpet.
Nonetheless, owners of the mainstream media stations should remember that “He who stayed silent during oppression took the side of the oppressor.” History will not forget! Nigerians will not forget!