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The Oasis Reporters

April 23, 2018

By Gora Dauda
Nigeria’s Information Minister, Alh. Lai Mohammed.

In more enlightened political climes, the positions of image makers, media spokesmen/women or indeed information dissemination is taken very seriously. This is essentially why it is infrequent that such portfolio holders embark on what I call image laundering for their principals or indeed governments. This is so because players in the political landscape are well informed and prepared for the business of politicking. To aspire to any office, you must have carefully studied such an office with the aim of improving on its performance.
On assuming that office, the focus must be to advance the frontiers of such offices.

Let us approach this post from the perspective of someone desirous of building a house in which case such must have a mental picture of the house which will be perfected through an architectural design. If the architectural design is not correctly transmitted as to give an idea of the floor plan, there will be a major problem should the builders go ahead with the block work.

Dr Joseph Goebbels was Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister of the Third Reich. Propaganda was then an important instrument for mobilizing the population and much more important an instrument for acquiring and maintaining political power. Particularly at that time, propaganda was a cocktail of primarily falsehood, half truths but with some truths here and there for garnishing. It worked for the Germans much as it did for the Allied governments and by extension their fighting forces. In the war years propaganda worked to the extent that the population had virtually no other means of obtaining correct information but today much of the value of propaganda is gone because information sources are many. Whatever falsehood is told to the people particularly in developing climes as ours will eventually be proven for what they really are.

This is where many of those holding the positions mentioned above in our clime find themselves always in disagreement with the rest of the population. Such office holders ought not only be megaphones for their principals, they are to also advice their principals on information management and dissemination. There is a risk in doing the right thing in such circumstances because you can easily be dispensed with the moment your principal feels or thinks you are not protecting their interest or that of the governments they lead.

Of late in Nigeria, we have been treated to a cacophony of belated clarifications which have been a sequel to what our leaders have been saying. Take for instance what the President of the Federation said with regard to the terrorist who have been dispatching many of our citizens to their graves. Why such truths had to be admitted in a foreign land instead of here in Nigeria before us who have been bearing the brunt of the terrorist actions leaves us with a dilemma about our leadership. In any case, the President did not say anything that was not already in the public domain. We are only lucky that the President gave a hint about his desire to recontest the position he is occupying here at home not abroad. Shocking of course remains the fact that whilst the leadership has misled our people into believing that the killings have been or are being carried out by Fulani herders, the leadership of the herders Miyetti Allah could not rise up to exculpate it’s members. A vuvuzela in the Presidency had to deploy quality time trying unsuccessfully to dress up what the President said in borrowed robes. Similarly, the Minister of Information and Culture has because of the penchant. for trying unsuccessfully to explain certain actions or position of government has earned for himself the nickname ” Lying Mohammed ” before many of the citizens of this country. Rather than dispensing falsehood when the targeted recipients already know the truth it is better they kept their peace.

Written by Gora Dauda.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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