In the wake of present competitive politics, realization keep growing that words, ideas, symbols, images, myths and all sorts of raw materials of communication are potent weapons for achieving a society’s goals. In this regard however, the pen – one and only scholarly weapon – has taken the frontline in the business of influencing the world politics.
Whoever has knowledge of historic Pope Gregory’s “Secro congregatio christiano nomini propaganda fidal”, which means “the propaganda of Christian religion” founded in 1622, will agree with me that the original motive behind propaganda is to disseminate ideas so to influence and at the end, change the attitudes, opinions, views, and behaviours of others, contrary to the present rampant and unbearable deceit, falsehood, distortion, biase, rumour, and misinformation that characterized the use of propaganda.
In Nigeria today, the term propaganda is associated to two things; firstly, the dissemination of ideas, manufactured or not, to change the attitudes, opinions, views, and behaviours of others towards one’s religion, personality, political ideology or political party, and secondly, the dissemination of deceit, falsehood, misinformation, rumour, distorted, biased, and made-up ideas about other’s religion, personality, political ideology or political party purposely to holistically and destructively brainwash people’s perspective toward others.
In recent decade, the availability of social media has added more avenues for propagandists to showcase their interests. The most regrettable of these is the involvement of Nigerian youths. Social media are so unpreserved that the bombardments of different versions of unpleasant posts and comments flow every second and so, division and hatred keep growing. In case of any doubt, scroll through Nigerian youths’ posts and comments of Apostle Johnson Suleiman of the Omega Power Ministry versus Miss Stephanie Otobo on facebook, twitter, and instagram and you shall surprise.
With the present levels of ramifications false propaganda has caused amongst the Nigerian youths, it is forensic enough to predict the future of Nigeria. It is easy to visualize the uncertainty of Nigeria as a political entity because of the regional politics growing vastly to its peak. One may be right to foresee another civil war in Nigeria because of the increasing agitation of a section calling for disintegration.
With all indications, one may be right to profess more religious and inter-ethnic conflicts in Nigeria; one may equally be right to presume the increment of thieves, insurgence, militants, insecurity and more civic unrest and off course, politics of godfatherism, political thuggery and do-or-die politics in the future.
If truly youths are the leaders of tomorrow, we should never expect a better tomorrow if nothing is done but a more disgusting and deteriorating economic, social and political structures that promote less qualitative education, unemployment, militant, insurgence, kidnapping, thuggery and all sorts of atrocities.
If this divisions persist, we should rather envisage complete black-out in the nearest future not improved electricity; the present insufficient roads fade out rather than more sophisticated roads; more devaluation of our currency rather than gaining strength; and more conflicts and street riots coming rather than peaceful environment and mind you, all these would happen as a result of dirty political games and strategic falsehood propaganda inherited
We may need to forget about the recent Yoruba-Hausa crisis in Ile-Ife, herdsmen and villagers’ crises in Benue and some other states, southern Kaduna crisis in Kaduna state and concentrate more on deadly events that may likely happen in the future.
The criticisms and counter-criticisms between the ruling APC and the major opposition, PDP, coupled with Ayo Fayose’s repeated death wishes for president Muhammadu Buhari may probably be jokes comparing to likely upheavals the current divisions could generate in the future.
Any serious minded leaders and politicians will see to their parochial political engagements and device a mean to quench the situation. As a role model, father that smokes cigarettes in the presence of his son should not be surprise to see his child smoking weed and Indian hems
As elders, our leaders should be mindful of how, where, when and why they play their political games, bearing it in mind that youths are watching and will definitely emulate such games either good or bad, even in a more deadly manner.
Hammed is a graduate of Mass Communication,
Bayero University,Kano and a serving Corp member in Kwara state.