There is no more fitting time than now to talk about the belligerent journalism of some media aids of the three mostmedialized presidential candidates of the just concluded Nigeria’s general elections. This is because, the month of May is the month the Roman Catholic Church celebrates world Communications Day, and this year’s edition, beginning from the 14th of May to culminate on the 21st of May, 2023.

Pope Francis’s message – ‘’Listening with the Heart, the Truth in Love’’- proposes a form of journalism ‘’that helps create the conditions to resolve controversies between peoples’’. Besides, all things being equal, the President – elect, Bola Amhed Tinubu would also be sworn – in the later part of May – the necessity towarn against the excessive verbal attacks and ‘’juvenile fulmination by non-juvenile’’ – according to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, melted on anyone holding opposing views on the stance of the various divides on the outcome of the presidential election cannot be overemphasized.

The elections were to a large extent, marred by numerous electoral maladies that were visible to all. Many local and international observers have berated the manner and procedure that the elections were conducted. Many Nigerians are contesting the outcome of the elections, especially the emergence of the president- elect. Hence the Peoples’ Democratic Party and Labour Party have taken their grievances to the Court of Appeal in Abuja. Nigerians and foreigners interested in the outcome of the elections are sharing their opinions; while some are judging the elections to be the fairest of elections so far in Nigeria others believe strongly that the elections were a shamble and show of shame.

One amongst those who criticized the electoral process is Chimamanda Adichie who has so far written two master pieces,expressing dissatisfaction with the elections. One of the pieces, the latest, was addressed to President Joe Biden, titled, Nigeria’s Hollow Democracy, in which she asked a pertinent question, ‘’why is America congratulating the winner of this disastrous election’’. No matter how controversial this letter might be, it perhaps expressed some of the happenings that were witnessed in the process of the elections. On the other hand, some others believe that the elections were free and fair, especially those who align with the APC’s ideology. President Muhammadu Buhari’s goodwill message to Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-ul-fitr celebrations asserted that ‘’the peaceful outcome of the 2023 general elections will go down on record as one of the proudest achievements of my administration… the outcomes of the election were in line with my pledge to leave a legacy of free and fair elections.’’ However one may look at the outcome of the elections no one will be objectively correct as forming an integral and generally acceptable opinion about the elections. This is why the media war must stop!

All over the social media space, media spokesmen and fans of these politicians are seen bombarding everyone, arm-twisting every opposing opinion holders that doesn’t support their own position. They are engaged in cyberbullying, trolling; stoking ethnic rivalry and fanning the flames of religious bigotry. Lies are being spewed like wide fire on social and mainstream media effortlessly; insults are yelled at oppositions carelessly. It is always thrilling to read the poetic sophistries from the likes of Femi Fani Kayode, to hear Barr. Kenneth Okonkwo dramatize his speeches and Kala Ologbondiyan demonstrate every word he pronounces and systematically Marshall out his argument. One is most likely to abandon everything just to read or listen to these guys. However, the goal of such highfalutin, grandiose literal pieces and well analytic and dramatic speeches are jeered to de-market each other’s preferred candidate in the most vulgar manner. In fact, these exercises are laced with belligerent psychosis, a kind of warlike approach to passing information that resonates with contents of their inner mind that are often not realistic.

Nigeria’s nascent democracy needs to be guided and tendered towards genuine democratic principles, the most veritable way to this is for people to criticize any traits of undemocratic practices that could endanger Nigerian’s democracy. Those who are bold enough to critique these unscrupulousness shouldn’t be hounded but rather there should be a cordial atmosphere for dialogue, enlightenment and cohesion. The issues that frost elections in Nigeria cannot be overlooked. Martin Luther King, Jr., is famously attributed to have said that ‘’the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.’’ The beauty of democracy is the freedom to express opinion about the government and any policy of the government that doesn’t go down well with the people.

Those who aren’t satisfied with the elections are not moved only by the result but principally by the process of the elections wherein results were not electronically transmitted; a lot of people were prevented from voting; ballot boxes were snatched by agberos and voters were battered and many other irregularities that are absurd took place. These are the stories the likes of Chimamanda are telling, this stories must be told from the heart; these stories must be truthfully told in love. This is what Pope Francis’ 57th World Communications Day message is hinged on – ‘’Speaking with the Heart, the Truth in Love’’(Eph.4:15). Truth should not be suppressed no matter how blunt it is, no matter who tells it and to whom it is directed. Little wonder then the Supreme Pontiff opines in his message that ‘’in a historical period marked by polarization and contrasts… we are called to seek and speak the truth and to do so with charity.’’

The various parties who are aggrieved about the elections have taken to the court to seek this truth and clarity about the elections. And rightly so, the courts remain the arbiter of justice. Those who have gone to court should not be bad-mouthed and vilified because they have done so. What the APC spokespersons for the president- elect- if they are still validly called so, should now engage in is a kind of communication that will bring cohesion in the polity of the nation. They must do their work in a manner that would assuage the fraying nerves of those millions of Nigerians who didn’t vote for their candidate, assure them of inclusivity when the new government is sworn-in. They should speak more about the manifestoes of the incoming government; they should be talking about solving the egregious unemployment situation in Nigeria – how Asiwaju would be able to provide jobs for Nigeria’s teaming youth population  who are wallowing in hopelessness because of lack of profitable jobs; they should be making practical plans on how electricity can be stable in Nigeria; now is the time to tell Nigerians what the in-coming government would do so that their lives and properties would be made secured, protected from terrorists who have become a part of our collectivity. 

This is the time to begin to draw maps of infrastructural development to quickly nip in the bud the deplorable states of our roads, public schools, hospitals, police stations, court houses, prisons and government offices across the length and breadth of the nation. This is the time to start profiling those competent people that the president- elect has finesse inidentifying and getting them involved in government. Now that the president- elect is back to Nigeria we hope it is not time for media war? These plans should be at their finishing stages at this moment. He has rested enough, he must hit the ground running. Asiwaju cannot afford to fail Nigerians at this time. Lest he forgets, a lot of Nigerians are waiting to say ‘’sebi we talk am!’’ This is not the time to spend time on trivialities – we heard he has called Atiku ‘’a serial loser’’ and Atiku has responded as if to say, thank God I do not have ‘’drug records’’, I don’t have ‘’dual citizenship’’ and I do have my ‘’certificate.’’ These are puerile vituperations for most Nigerians who are bothered about very important things to wake to see on news headlines.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu has won the election even though it is contestable, people must express their displeasure about the result owing to the irregularities noticed during the process of the election. It’s very important that these spokespersons, these supporters do not unnecessarily heat up the polity of the country with abusive rejoinders. Rejoinders should be enlightening, clarifying and cordial. In the words of the Bishop of Rome, ‘’communicating in a cordial manner means that those who read or listen to us are led to welcome our participation in the joys, fears, hopes and suffering of the women and men of our time.’’ Our social communication has now been largely described as vawulence- a Nigerian slang for violence regarding people who cause problems on various social media platforms. The oppositions who are aggrieved should please leave the person of President-elect alone. They should wait for the outcome of the court cases, pose as good oppositions by engaging the in-coming government with factual and logical criticisms of the policies that would be incongruent to the Nigeria people in the course of its administration. 

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