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Mr Frisky Larr
Mr Frisky Larr

Nigeria News

Vested Interests Hampering Professional Journalism in Africa – Larr

…Says Fight between Obaseki and Oshiomhole not in the people’s interest.

By Omon-Julius Onabu,

Journalists and media practitioners generally are greatly handicapped in Nigeria and other Africa countries in adhering to professional ethics that could have promoted democracy because of the various vested interests in the land.

Germany-based journalist and author of several books on political and socio-economic issues in Nigeria and Africa, Mr Frisky Larr, made the remarks during a chat with newsmen in Asaba, Delta State.

He noted that the political environment in the country was so inimical to the professional journalism that the media can hardly make any meaningful contribution in advancing the much-desired democratic system.

According to the author of ‘Nigeria’s Journalistic Militantism’, ‘Africa’s Diabolical Entrapment’ and other books, “The problem is that the Nigerian media landscape is presently populated by vested interests. And, many newspaper proprietors have one political interest or the other to represent, and so there is hardly any room to practice journalism the way we learned it at school. Objectivity is almost no more a point in question, when you have a politician running a newspaper in order to advance a political interest or a political ideology or whatever.

“So, journalism actually is entrapped, is in a cage in Nigeria at the moment. Therefore, it would require a bit of heroism to break through the deadlock, in the fashion of personalities like late Dele Giwa, personalities like Tai Solarin or somebody like Aire Iyare of the past. Those were names in the post-independence era that actually tried to have a foothold on how critical and good journalism can be practised. But today, unless a complete overhaul happens, I don’t see Nigerian journalism progressing under the stranglehold of politically vested interest.”

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Larr also described the apparent fight for political supremacy in Edo State between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his predecessor and APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, as unnecessary because it it basically not in the interest of the people of the state.

“I find it a bit appalling, the turn of events that we have experienced or witnessed all through the eyes past months or weeks; with two power blocs at loggerheads over nothing basically. That a sitting governor would want to do a second term and his predecessor would come and say, No, you are not going to have a second term.

“However justified that is, it is definitely not in the interest of the state, and it is not in the interest of the common man. There is a saying that when two elephants battle, the field suffers it.

“So, as to what happens in the end, we just have to keep our fingers crossed and wait until one of the parties collapses and we see where we take it from there. However, it is not in the interest of the state that two power blocs are at loggerheads.”

Larr advised Nigerian youths to pay greater to education and personal development towards a more secure future, instead of placing undue interest to getting rich quickly and making dangerous journey in search of the golden fleece in Europe and other countries in Asia.

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“The Nigerian youth of tomorrow will have to focus more on education. The drift towards grabbing money or getting rich quickly that is so prevalent on the mindset without building a particular intellectual foundation for the future cannot serve the youths well. Drifting away overseas and drowning in the Atlantic and moving through the desert in an attempt to reap greener pastures in Europe will not help us, going forward.”

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