The Nigerian media, Fayose and Ohakim -By Greg Ugbaja

Filed under: National Issues |

The Nigerian media, Fayose and Ohakim -By  Greg Ugbaja


Recently I watched a video where Rev. Father Mbaka, one of the most respected and vocal catholic priests based in Enugu, tendered a public apology to Ikedi Ohakim for accusing him falsely about flogging another priest some years back when Ohakim was the Governor of Imo State (

This got me thinking. Now that this celebrated story turns out to be false, the question is, what was the media doing all this while? How much truth and investigative journalism are we really getting from the media? Is the media really educating and informing the people or has it become an instrument of mind control in the hands of a few powerful men and women? This is for the media to realise it has a sacred duty to build the society and for the Nigerian audience and readers to have the courage to interrogate news stories.

Before now the media was considered the supreme oracle in the court of public opinion but following recent events in our democratic experience, the media seem to have taken up a different definition and is better compared to a public address system: the words that are spoken into it are precisely what it would broadcast, it will not add, it will not subtract and It will not analyse them, neither will it seek to verify it. It is simply loyal to its patron, no matter who he is, just be a Pa(y)tron and your wish would be granted. The events surrounding the failed re-election bid of Ikedi Ohakim, the former governor of Imo state and the successful re-election of Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state have cast a lot of doubt on the impartial role of the media as a just judge in the court of public opinion and have made nonsense of everything investigative journalism stands for. Three points can be deduced from the way the two events were handled/ managed by both print and broadcast media:

The media is so powerful that it can call into existence what is not as though it is, A section of the masses have grown very gullible over the years that once it is in print, it must be true.

There is high level of intellectual laziness towards dispassionate analyses of issues in the news. For instance, a section of the media says that Hunters with their Dane Guns, Bows and Arrows recaptured Mubi from Boko Haram, a group alleged to be better armed than Nigerian army, and no one interrogates the report.

In 2014, Gov. Fayose of Ekiti state threw his hat in the ring against Former Gov. Fayemi, to contest for the office of the governor and many people wondered whether he was high on dried pawpaw leaf or heroine because the media had declared that the man was “completely hated” by his people and unpopular because he didn’t give his people the dividends of democracy. Then the Ekiti result was announced and a massive shock wave swept through the land! Then every one started “thoughting” (Excuse my Latin) “But we all thought they said he was a bad man” “we thought they said he did nothing for them in his first coming” “… thought they said he was wicked to his people” “we thought they said this and that ” But the big question is, who said?

The media said! Ikedi Ohakim, the former governor of Imo State was one of the unfortunate fellows crucified on the altar of public opinion, an altar built and consecrated by the media. Sometimes you come across someone who says that he “hates” Ohakim but cannot say for sure, why he hates the former Governor, except that “He flogged a priest” he would quip, a classical case example of the ingenious capacity of the media to call into existence what was not, put breadth into it and give it life. media space.