Pulse VIP Blogger, Max Nashion, takes a swipe at the campaign of calumny encouraged by radio stations in Nigeria as election draws near.
Nigerian politics has created a barrier between me and the local radio stations, despite the fact that I work in a radio station. I no longer turn on my radio set these days because local radio stations have suddenly turned to platforms of insults, campaign of calumny and character assassination by politicians.
Before the formal kick off of campaigns by political parties ahead of the 2015 general elections, the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, organised many forums for media practitioners with the aim of enlightening them on information dissemination during and after elections, so as to avoid any form of crisis that may lead to wanton destruction of lives and properties.
But the question is, do we really need to be reminded of our duties? I don't really think so! This is what we do everyday; we know the right thing to do, we know that we can change this country for better with the right conscience.
The violence free election we so much preached without practising would certainly elude us, because the foundation we are building now is that of chaos and anarchy. It is very disheartening that radio stations in their desperate quest to increase their revenue generation, will open lines for all sorts of street politicians to trade insults at one another, at the same time sowing seeds of discord among their supporters, majority of whom are miscreants and exalted drugs addicts.
I watched Barak Obama's first presidential campaign which was issue-based and the issues dwelt on policy formulation and implementation with foreign policies and relations. After the primary election which Obama won, the Democratic Party worked as a family to face the republican party with Hilary Clinton who was his contender in the primary election, playing major roles in Obama's campaign.
After the general election which Obama still won, both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party united for the sake of America. Some Republicans were drafted into Obama's cabinet to use their wealth of experience for the sake of the United States of America!
Remember no life was lost through out the elections, but in Nigeria's case, democracy is just the opposite of American democracy in spite of the fact that we both practice the much touted federalism.
Nigerian politics is also synonymous with bitterness, envy, rancour, ethnic sentiment and religious bigotry, among others, and such attributes are exhibited on a daily basis on the mass media, especially the radio which has more influence on the masses.
Media practitioners should know that their duty is to correct and not to compound the problems we have as a nation. We should always allow our conscience to guide us and desist from being used by politicians, no matter how highly placed they may be.
Radio managers, most especially in the northern part of the country, should always listen and scrutinise every item before allowing it to go on air. In every step we take as Nigerians, we must always remember Rwanda!
Max Nashion is a journalist with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State.