A Professor of Mass Communication at the Lagos State University (LASU), Lai Oso, has raised the alarm that, the “draconian policies” of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had placed the media “under a siege.”
Oso said this Thursday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, at the 7th Waheed Kadiri Lecture entitled, “The Future Of Journalism And Democracy in Nigeria.”
The lecture was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Town Planner (NITP) in honour of a veteran, and former Rector of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Waheed Kadiri.
In his lecture, Oso lamented that, the future of journalism and democracy in Nigeria was being threatened by the “authoritarian style of leadership” being adopted by President Buhari, slamming him for formulating what he called the “draconian anti-press freedom” policies aimed at gaging the media.
He also regretted that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had become “a willing tool” in the hands of the government, thereby imposing fines and other forms of sanctions on privately-owned broadcasting stations as if the commission was established to take private broadcasting stations out of business.
He said “It appears the Nigerian mass media is under state-imposed siege. In order to capture the media and bend reality in the direction of its preferred worldview interests and hegemony, the government is deploying the instruments of the state against the media and journalists.
“The government seems to have gone back to books of authoritarian press control and national interest, the Buhari administration and the National Assembly have tried on many occasions to enact legislations to muzzle freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
“The suspension of Twitter is part of this draconian anti-press freedom policy of the administration.”
Speaking, Kadiri said, the lecture was organised to set agenda for development in the society and to put government on its toes.
He urged Nigerians to contribute to national development, saying “We are all in this together, we should not always push things to the people in government alone.”