ABSTRACT: The research investigated the perception of Nigerians towards media coverage of Biafra agitation under President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration. The study was anchored on Uses and Gratification Theory. Survey research method as a quantitative research method was adopted. 150 questionnaires were distributed to the respondents and out of which 130 were returned. The data collected were analyzed using frequency and percentage method. Findings show that many media house were factual, accurate and objective in reporting The independent People of Biafra agitation under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. It is recommended that the media and other owners should shun politics while dealing with the issue of national interest and be conscious in the content since the ‘medium is the message’ to prevent the collapse of national interest.
Keywords: Biafra Agitation
Table of Contents
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Problem Statement 3
1.3 Objectives of the Study 4
1.4 Research Questions 5
1.5 Significance the Study 5
1.6 Scope of the Study 5
1.7 Limitations to the Study 6
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms 6
2.0 Literature Review 7
2.1 Conceptual Review 7
2.2 Empirical Framework 23
2.3 Theoretical framework 24
3.0 Research Methodology 26
3.1 Research Design 26
3.2 Research Method 26
3.3 Restatement of Research Questions
3.4 Characteristics of the Study Population 27
3.5 Sample Size 27
3.6 Sampling Technique 27
3.7 Data Collection Instrument 27
3.8 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument 27
3.9 Data Collection Instrument 28
3.10 Data Analysis Procedure 28
4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis 29
4.1 Introduction 29
4.3 Discussion of Findings 39
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 40
5.1 Summary 41
5.2 Conclusion 41
5.3 Recommendations 41
1.1 Background to the Study
No victor, no vanquish was the slogan that reminds Nigerians of her civil war that rocked the nation between 1967-1970 which left more than 3 million Nigerians dead and displaced several others mostly Igbo in a war that lasted for 30 months. The war was remembered by several factors especially by the propaganda role placed by the two camps media at that time to gain local and international supports for their ideology.
According to Marlene, Muller (2008) in Loubser (1987:12) says Karl Max and Fredrick Engles once postulated that ideology is nothing more than a fabrications used by a particular group of people to justify themselves.
Similarly, Fredrick Watkins and David Ingersoll Baradat, (1997:7-8) cited in Marlene, Muller (2008) suggested that Ideology come almost from political extremism. However, posits that ideology that come from political interest opposed the status quo (existing government) and proposed change on the existing order which involving a militia, revolutionary and violence. Change is inevitable since society cannot be static; it need either to move forward or backward, to the left or to the right as the case may be (Alabi, 2014).
In political ideology, changes in any society can take difference forms of radicalism, liberalism, moderate, conservative and reactionary depend on the nature of idea and leadership of the group seeking change. Radicalism is a type of ideology in which government or existing Order are challenged in a violence manner resulting to killing and burning, it does not involved dialogue, diplomatic process unlike liberalism approach which changes government with emphasis on the parties involved holding meeting, conferences and several dialogues to fine-tune the needed change or government (Alabi, 2014).
There are lots if leaders and ideologists in the past who fought fervently to immortalise their idea; many died with the idea while many live with the idea and of course many died for an idea to live and one of such is the agitation for the state of Biafra established by the late Col. Odumegbe Ojukwu who initiated the idea forty years ago in a radical approach but after his death the idea re-fertilized and re-geminated but appears to be less radical in approach.
Biafra agitation for secession and Republic is one of the evils that befall the Nigeria since independence which its effects continue to linger in the mind of the elders while history also told the young generation who never witness it. Before Biafra fully pronounced again, several movement have emerged from the southeast advocating, mobilising and fighting for the realisation of the vision of the their funding fathers.
It should be noted that the conflict in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria arose in the early 1990s over tensions between foreign oil corporations and a number of the Niger Delta’s minority ethnic groups who feel they are being exploited, particularly the Ogoni and the Ijaw (Wikipedia, 2016).
Niger Delta is an oil-rich region in southern Nigeria inhabited by more than 31 million people. It is composed of nine modern-day Nigerian states and has been marred by widespread violence, kidnappings for ransom and clashes between militant groups and the army since the early 2000s. Militant groups originated in the early 2000s following the deterioration of the living conditions of people living in oil-rich areas due to the increase of oil-related activities by foreign oil corporations. Tensions between foreign oil corporations in the region and local communities arose as some ethnic groups felt they were being exploited and could not benefit by the presence of oil in the area (Ludovica, 2015).
The repeated oil spills that considerably damaged the environment and affected people’s health contributed to further deepen the communities’ frustration. In 2015, Amnesty International said that Royal Dutch Shell and the Italian multinational oil giant ENI admitted to more than 550 oil spills in the Niger Delta in 2014 alone. In January, Shell agreed to pay $84m (£55m) in compensation to the Bodo community over two oil spills which affected more than 15,000 fishermen in the area. Damages caused by oil spills also forced people to abandon agricultural practices and, as a result, they became poorer (Ludovica, 2015).
Ludovica (2015) listed the followings as some of the Niger Delta Militant Groups in the Region. Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) founded by Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo – also known as Asari. NDV was created in 2003 in Port Harcourt and advocates for a greater control of the resources present in the area. It was led by Ateke Tom until 2009.
Fighters of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (Mend) was founded in the 2004 and is currently one of Delta’s largest militant groups. It is sometimes considered as an umbrella group that includes some 100 factions, some of which carry out attacks on oil pipelines in the area. The Niger Delta Liberation Front (NDLF) was Funded in 2005, the group was led by John Togo, who was one of the most well-known warlords in Niger Delta.
However, as agitation for Biafra fully resurfaced with the launching of various media of communication including social media platform, blogs, websites, videotube, television streaming, newspapers and launching of Biafra Radio again, information believed to be propaganda begins with each sides is promoting the interest of the power that be.
Biafra agitators once accused all Nigerian media particularly the newspapers on how they are framing and setting agenda on issues associating with Biafra and the issues were not properly and accurately presented and believed to be done deliberately in favour of Nigeria government against the Biafra fighters. The group further that newspapers were bias in the way it reported issues surrounding the arrest, detention and trial of Director of Biafra Radio, Nnamdi Kanu.
To this end, the research examines students’ perception of the media reportage of Biafra agitation especially how Nigerian newspapers’ framed the Biafra Agitation under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and to determine if such framing influence students perception.
1.2 Problem Statement
Biafra agitators have begun their struggle long before the 2015 presidential election which saw the enthronement of President Muhammadu Buhari from (northeast) who emerged as winner of 2015 presidential election from the then opposition political party, All Progress Congress (APC) after defeated Former President Jonathan from (Southsouth) Nigeria but little attention was paid to the agitators until it launched its Biafra Radio and consequently reported in the media on 18th October that the brain behind Biafra Radio has been arrested and detailed. And since then both the print and broadcast mass media have been using different frames to convey their reports to their local and international audience.
The manner and techniques employed by Nigeria media in framing the resurfacing of Biafra in their various editorials without mincing word have influence on the perception and attitude of the public towards the issue because framing and agenda setting theory show a great relationship between media frames and how audience perceive, think and react to issues.
To this end, the research examines Nigerians’ perception of the media reportage of Biafra agitation especially how Nigerian newspapers’ framed the Biafra Agitation under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and to determine if such framing influence students perception.
1.3 Objectives of the study
- To examine whether the rate of media coverage of Biafra agitation create fear in the mind of Nigerians
- To discover whether Nigerians were awareness about Biafra Agitations is as a result of the exposure to media.
1.4 Research Questions
1. To what extent has media coverage of Biafra agitation created fear in the mind of Nigerians?
2. Does the level of awareness about Biafra agitation among Nigerians was as a result of their exposure to media?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will assist the media owners and practitioners on the need to be objective, accurate and avoid being used as an instrument of propaganda by verifying facts and figures made available to them
It will guide government and its agencies on the need to always embrace dialogue rather than combating issues.
Also, it will assist government and its agencies to properly conduct themselves in the public to guide against public sentiment.
Future researchers and students will find the material relevant as it formed bulk literature that exist in the field of mass communication, political communication etc that they can lay hands on when carrying out research related or similar to this.
Members of the will gain an insight on how media influence their thinking and differentiate between factual news and propaganda so that they don’t allow media reportage influence them negatively.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research titled “assessing students’ perception of media reportage of Biafra agitation” has been narrowed in scope to students of Osun State Polytechnic which cut across six faculties (ND1-HND2).
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Assesses: This means to critically and carefully examine the perception of students of OSPOLY about Biafra Agitations
Perception: This refers to the view and opinion of students of OSPOLY about Biafra Agitations.
Media Reportage: This refers to the various news and programmes on radio, television, magazine, newspaper etc on Biafra Agitation.
Biafra: Officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in the then southeastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra (the Atlantic bay to its south). The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led the secession and now resurface again in 2015.
Agitation: Persistent urging and demanding for a political sovereign state of Biafra among various groups in the southeast Nigeria.
Muhammadu Buhari Administration: This is the new administration headed by Muhammadu Buhari from (northeast) that emerged as winner of 2015 presidential election from the then opposition political party, All Progress Congress (APC) after defeated Former President Jonathan from (southsouth) Nigeria.
NIGERIANS’ PERCEPTION OF MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE BIAFRA AGITATION UNDER BUHARI
Format = MS Word, Price = ₦4000, Chapter = 1-5, Pages = 52, References = Yes, Questionnaire =Yes, Table of Contents = Yes and Abstract = Yes