The Nigerian media needs to do more in the reporting of key political stories.
There is this familiar sense of foreboding that is quietly creeping through Nigeria. We have been here before. It was not too long ago that Nigeria was in a state of suspense because of late President Yar'adua's health issues and death.
Less than seven years after we are here again. The next few months would determine the political course for at least two years, maybe six years.
We are in a very critical period of this administration. How should the media cover this period when the leader of the most populous black nation is most likely is on his sick bed and a politically inexperienced Vice-President is waiting in the wings?
A look at the headlines of the top national dailies indicates that the Nigerian press is waiting for a major development or when the ball drops. In other words, the press is more reactive than active.
News sites, TV houses and newspapers should have published articles about President Buhari's state of health and what is most likely going on with the nation's first citizen. Top doctors should be interviewed to give us the citizens a clue on what might be wrong with a man who is 74 years old.
Let's not mince words. Nigerian media isn't as robust as it should be. Imagine the President of the United States in a hospital away from the public eye. Imagine the White House trying to hide the fact that the POTUS has health issues. The American would be in a frenzy.
The New York Times, TIME, Washington Post and LA Times would send investigative journalists to sniff out which hospital the President is staying and get a hand on his medical records.
Headlines will be dedicated to the Vice-President, speculating what sort of leader he will be. Articles, op-ed and think pieces would rise up from every corner of the digital space on the political history of the VP and what type of President he would make.
The reactionary nature of our media has to do with press censorship during the decades of military rule, poor finances and inadequate training of journalists.
At a time like this, our media could do a better coverage of the President's illness.