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MY PROBLEM WITH JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA 1

Note: First published on October 15, 2019. The “published” date on the tab is the date that it was uploaded on this new site. Though some issues in this piece may still be current (depending on…), this info is to avoid mistaking the piece as current news.

This is “No Bullshiting,” by Harry Agina.

Greetings, folks!

Is it possible that the gods of the Igbo people of the Southeast Nigeria are ignorant and politically mischievous? I am an Igbo man, a traditionalist, and I say that the gods of my land are not mischievous. They are wise! And, when a journalist named Odera says that he is “The Pen of the gods” in my Igbo land of Anambra State; I say wonderful, just be sure that the inherent divine wisdom resides in you. Be sure that professional integrity of the gods of our land flow through their pen in your hand.

Sadly, if you ask me, or even if nobody asks me, I still say that it does not look as though Odera’s pen does have the divine wisdom and integrity. It’s a little difficult to accept that the “pen of the gods” actually deliver some of Odera’s writings. I read one where he said that he is “confused” and ignorant, just so that he might score a cheap political point. Mind you, I have not called Odera ignorant, no sir; he declared it himself in the blog that I refer to. He was trying, but failed to rubbish Anambra State “Operation Kpochapu” Security Initiative.

Generally, I have a problem with journalism in Nigeria today. I see all kinds of characters calling themselves journalists, who have no business being there, meeeeeen!!! I am pissed off because they are destroying my professional constituency with unethical mediocrity. You can tell that many are definitely not qualified to be called journalists. They are not trained or prepared for it in any form. For a start, many speak and write English grammar much worse than elementary one school pupils. Their tenses are all mixed-up, and their punctuation fucked-up. As a result, their writings are totally incomprehensible, meeeeeeeeeen!!!

Alas, gone are the good old days when journalists were educators in Nigeria. They had good command of English grammar, and sound contents to benefit school children. Today, the profession has been invaded by funky journalists. We have jokers who dabbled into journalism for all kinds of wrong, non-professional, and unethical reasons. Some are in it strictly for money, and critics call them “brown-envelop journalists.” Many of them virtually sell their souls and mortgage their consciences in their twisted hatchet-job reportage of events and news in favor of their paying clients. It looks like there are quite a number of such quack journalists in Anambra State today. They are paid by self-serving mischievous politicians to antagonize Governor Obiano and rubbish his activities in the state with mischievous propaganda.

An Igbo proverb says that “Okenye anaghi ano na uno ehu/ewu amuo nwa na ogbu.” This translates to: an elder should not be at home and allow a pregnant goat to deliver on a leach. I am an elder in the communications, broadcasting, and journalism field, a veteran, if you will. And, it is wrong if I sit on the fence and watch journalism going down the drain in my state Anambra, in the hands of quacks and brown-envelop journalists. It’s clear to me that they sell the ethics of journalism to the highest political bidder. Evil triumphs when good men are silent,” says the Good Book. So, I have decided to speak out against hatchet-job journalists, in my state and the country at large. We are the watchdogs of the people, and we must begin to give the people some sincere watchdog values. OBJECTIVITY as the watch-word. But, hey, please don’t get me wrong. Naturally, where a man work, that’s where his livelihood must come from. Surely, ‘man-must-wack” (a man has to feed), but let’s not get carried away to the extreme of selling our souls. We do owe the public the watchdog service, with OBJECTIVE professionalism, in the sincere interest of the public, meeeeeeeen!!!

It is apparent that somebody is paying a dude called Odera, who says that he is “The Pen of the gods,” to constitute himself as a biased total nuisance to Governor Obiano of Anambra State. It is said that a mad man that dances by the roadside without music, has somebody drumming for him in the nearby bush. The mad man alone can hear the music. I cannot swear that Odera has a political paymaster, but he sure sounds like he does. Someone is obviously consistently drumming for him, and he is apparently being paid enough to make him hell-bent on rubbishing everything that Governor Obiano does or says. Odera is consistent. Each time I read anything flowing from his “Pen of the gods,” he is pointing accusing finger at Governor Obiano. But, as he points one finger at the governor with one condemnation or another, his other fingers are always pointing at himself. By his words, he accuses himself of unprofessional hatchet-job for the governor’s detractors.

This is apparent in his desperate bid to rubbish Governor Obiano’s laudable security initiative that is named “Operation Kpochapu” in Anambra State. Odera has exposed himself to be very ignorant in several ways. One example is in his statement says, and I quote, “…they are investing on our Police, and we applaud when they bought Horses for Police. But, we can’t make sense what the Horse is supposed to be used for. We only know that it may confuse people like me who can’t understand how Horse can be deployed to battle the glaring insecurity in the state.”

Now, wait just a doggone minute, I spontaneously yelled when I read Odera’s statement. Did this dude just shamelessly tell the world that he has no idea what horses are used for in police or any security outfit? He is that ignorant, and he still calls himself a journalist? The dude is supposed to know, meeeeeen!!! He is a doggone journalist; or is he? He was supposed to investigate, and educate his audience without prejudice, about the several advantages of horses in security operations all over the world. And, the dude’s grammar in all his writings is truly atrocious. His tenses are fucked up, meeeeeeen!!!

As for Odera’s contents, it is very clear that his gods and their pen were not wise enough to inform him about the advantages of horses in a security outfit. And he failed to investigate the subject himself like real journalists do, before he embarked on his “let’s get Obiano” condemnation rampage. Well, since I am a nice guy, I don’t mind to offer Odera and his gods and their pen a veteran’s lesson on the topic; here we go:

Bros eee, horses are deployed by security outfits all over the world for special benefits. They can apprehend criminals who are on foot or any means of transport. They are particularly beneficial in small alleys and other terrains like hills, where cars cannot access…you got it? As a journalist, Odera should know this! if not, his “Pen of the gods” should know it through their supernatural powers. He is supposed to educate the masses without ignorance or prejudice, meeeeen!!!

Or, at least, Odera should stay away from the topic if both he and his pen of the gods are ignorant about it. That’s part of the professional ethics that I speak of. It is said that it’s better for a person to keep quiet and be suspected to be a fool, than to open his or her mouth and remove all doubts. Instead of following this advise, Odera was so proud to declare to the world that he, his gods, and their pen are very ignorant. Yet, he turns around and talks down on “Obiano Media People” in another piece. “Most of you are annoyingly sub-standard,” he wrote. He apparently does not realize that “sub-standard” includes his failure to research the subjects of his blog, and give the public unbiased information on topical issues.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am an active proponent of the role of the media institution as the watchdog of the masses. We must keep the leaders in check, and make them accountable to the people. And, I am not a Governor Obiano man or apologist; far from it! My beef is with the people who abuse the role of the media. A good journalist is/was trained to critique the leader; and a quack with a mischievous mission criticizes the leader maliciously without objectivity. There is a critical difference between criticizing and critiquing, and a journalist is trained to apply them accordingly. When a professional journalist critiques a leader or any subject matter, he/she analyses the situation OBJECTIVELY, gives SINCERE credit where it is due, and points out the flaws that he/she observes, SINCERELY. Then he or she encourages the leader to improve on the flaws.

Now, who is bearing the brunt of quack journalism in Nigeria? The Nigerian citizens, that’s who! Alas, the media institution, which is supposed to be the watchdog of the people, has been degenerated to the despicable level of propaganda institution for self-serving politicians. The masses are not told the truth by the so-called journalists who are supposed to be their watchdogs. And the masses make wrong political decisions based on malicious lies. When the watchdog of the people becomes a witch-hunt dog for self-serving politicians, the society is doomed. And, that’s a whole bunch of bullshitting, meeeeeeen!!!

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