Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka says the future of the Nigerian media space is hopeful and believes that the social media can do damage to the freedom of the press.
According to Professor Soyinka, many leaders who never believed in total freedom of the press have been reformed over time and that gives hope to the media in Nigeria. He cited President Mohammadu Buhari as one of those reformists.
Professor Soyinka decried a situation where political elites use some ‘ambiguous clichés to deny people or the media their freedom of expression.’
He spoke during an interview session with Woosuk Choi at the 67thcongress of the International Press Institute on Friday in Abuja.
He frowned at a situation where citizens were being cautioned when they express their views on issues such as restructuring, all under the guise of national unity or over heating the polity.
Whistle blower policy
Professor Soyinka said “such scenarios could be change especially with the whistle blower policy and lessons learnt from other climes.”
He gave examples of how political elites and some so called untouchables being charged to face the wrath of the law in some countries can change the Nigerian situation in respect of press freedom.
“One of the greatest dangers that press freedom is facing is the advent and growing popularity of the social media. Simply put, the Social media is one of the greatest enemies of freedom of the press,” he explained.
In another twist, Professor Soyinka accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of being the most hypocritical former leader of the country, following his attempt to hijack the movement for political change.
“He is trying to hijack a recovery process. He is least worthy to lead. Obasanjo is not the right person to lead any movement for reform on change of leadership in the country in 2019. Obasanjo and other geriatric leaders of his generation should step aside and allow a new generation to lead the nation,” Professor Soyinka explained.