The Nigerian Press and the Struggle for Democracy

By Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.


Of all the different types of government so far experimented by the countries of the world – fascism, totalitarianism, monarchy, diarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy etc – democracy has proved to be the best form. Under democracy, the inalienable rights and essential freedoms natural to man as human are realizable. These include; the right to freedom of worship; right to freedom of speech; right to life; right to freedom of association and right to the dignity of the human person and so on. It is perhaps for this reason, among others, that the Nigerian press has continued to struggle for democracy to ensure these freedoms. For this, the vested interests, the oppressors of the poor saw the watch dogs as a pleasant whipping boy, tormenting, persecuting and using all sorts of draconian legislations and extra – judicial methods to suppress legitimate agitations. Thank goodness, the freedom of information bill has been passed into law. But despite all the indignities, the press has soldiered on. However, since 1999 when Nigeria appeared to have freed herself from the military strangle-hold, there seems to be a temptation to relax in the false hope that we have arrived the promised democratic land. But the ugly experience of the 2003 and 2007 elections provide a pointer that it is not yet Uhuru. There is the need to stress eternal vigilance as we have only substituted black imperialism for white imperialism. This paper examines the liberation struggle of the Nigerian press towards political emancipation from oppressors and urges a coordinated political mobilization of the electorate to stand up for genuine participatory democracy...
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Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.



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