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Scapegoating the media, by Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga

Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed has blamed the media for discouraging foreign investors because of its obsession with negative news about insecurity in the country. Why do politicians always look for someone to blame instead of taking responsibility for the reality of our time? Is Lai Mohammed suggesting that incidents of insecurity shouldn’t be reported by the press? Does he think foreign investors rely entirely on the media to gain information about the the realities of the country?

American media report about mass shootings in the country. Has that stopped business people from other countries from doing business with America or refusing to invest in the country? Do you also blamed the Nigerian media for the human rights abuses by our security personnel, which culminated in the ENDSARS protests across the country?

Do you blame the media for the government’s decision to grant automatic pardon to terrorists, despite committing crimes against humanity? Why shouldn’t the media report it? Should you blame the media for the negative consequences of the government’s own policies?

The abducted female students in Kebbi State are spending more than 90 days in captivity. Do you blame the media for reporting that fact? The role of the media is to report on people and events and how those events impact the lives of the people.

In fairness to the media, the Nigerian press has given generous coverage to the government’s efforts to fight terrorism and banditry, including the recent acquisition of fighter jets from the United States and Mi5 Russian attack helicopters. The media cannot avoid the bad news altogether. Bad news is as real as death. In a democracy, unlike a totalitarian state, it’s impossible to impose only the news that you want.

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