Some concerned Nigerians have raised the alarm over the growing but negative influence of China in Nigerian media and economic space, allegedly in pursuit of the exportation of her ideological agenda into Nigeria.
Championed by the Publisher of Sahel Standard, Mr Olawale Rasheed, a literacy guide book aimed at training journalists on spotting and countering authoritarianism, was unveiled by the group. The guidebook, however, exposed the unnoticed Chinese infiltration of the Nigerian media space, while at the same time imposing its ideological agenda on the country.
During the workshop, guest speakers and participants charged the Nigerian media and other stakeholders to ask questions regarding the activities of Chinese firms in Nigeria. The Project Manager, Farouk Mohammed described the guidebook as “the first of its kind in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa to study and identify how China deploys sharp practices in Nigerian Media Space and how this impacts the democratic life of Nigeria.
“The guidebook identified key tactics that Chinese operatives deploy in influencing the media and also included strategies and means of countering such maligning influences. It also included a long list of negative impacts of such Chinese practices on Nigerian democracy.”
A guest speaker, Dr Anule Emmanuel in his presentation, “Tracking and Countering Maligning Influences in News Rooms” said, “we must understand that we are basically watchdogs as journalists and it is our core responsibility to checkmate the government with our reportage. He said to counter maligning influences in the newsrooms, we must be inquisitive and have an investigative spirit, analytical mind, courage, integrity, and be patriotic.
“With a good combination of our watchdog roles as the fourth estate of the realm and taking responsibilities of putting the government in constant check, reveal abuse of state authority and protect the constitutional rights of citizens, it is possible to detect, track and counter maligning influences in our newsroom.”
Similarly, the Deputy President, Guild of Cooperate Online Publishers (GOCOP), Danlami Momodu in his presentation urged Nigeria to strive to protect its democracy, adding that people have paid the price to ensure democracy stands.
He said, ‘’Let us help to ensure that the media serves the national interest better by ensuring robust debate on issues.’’
Participants, however, blamed the nation’s leadership and elites for allowing countries with communist ideology to dominate Nigeria’s market, stressing that such will have a ripple effect on Nigeria’s fragile democracy.