A former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, on Saturday raised the alarm that the actions of major players in the 2015 general elections were threatening the peace and stability of the country.
He stated this at a special public lecture to mark the 75th birthday of Chief Suarau Bankole, father of the ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole.
Justice Musdapher noted that the 2015 presidential election also polarised the country, claiming “that the election was marked by demarcations along ethnic, regional, partisan and religious lines.”
He described the celebrator as a detribalised politician who worked for the unity of the country.
He, however noted that favouritism, nepotism and tribal sentiments had made it impossible to run a merit-driven system.
He said, “Hard work, brilliance, honesty and integrity in our dealings are no longer rewarded. Rather, we celebrate mediocrity soaked in the corruption we claim is our common enemy.
“I am scared and deeply worried. The situation is grave and the media, the fourth estate of the realm has a big role to play in this crusade.
“I am also aware today that most media houses have an editorial policy and clear leaning towards sectional and myopic perspectives. Tribal and nepotic leanings are present in most issues debated or reported in our media.
“The government-owned media showcase the activities of the government with little or no critique in contrast to the harsh realities faced by millions of subscribers of these news media.
“The newspapers and media owned and operated by politicians are mostly reflective of the interest of their principals as opposed to the need to reflect the truth.
“It has become commonplace for one to read of an ‘Igbo’ presidency or ‘northern’ presidency in line with a tacit approval of outright nepotism by majority of Nigerians.
“It is rather worrisome that after over 100 years since the amalgamation of the northern and the southern protectorates in 1914, we seem as divided as ever.”
A former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, agreed with the former Chief Justice of Nigeria on his observations concerning the media, and promised to deliver his message to the authority in the media.
Osoba said, “My Lord has delivered the judgement and I will deliver your message to the media.”
Talking about his relationship with Chief Bankole, Osoba said though he was two years older than him and did not have many things in common, they managed each other.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said the observations by the former CJN had challenged him “in building a nation on justice, unity and equity.”