For the past six months, the most dominant discussion in the media has been on the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. The media has successfully set the agenda for public discourse on COVID-19 especially in Nigeria, where even a child on the street is familiar with the name COVID-19. This is mostly due to the sensitisation on preventive measures and the heavy media reportage on the pandemic.
The reportage of the pandemic has caused fear in the minds of many. From the beginning, the people were so afraid of the pandemic when considering the global social and economic damage. The use of facemasks is what characterised the uniqueness of people on the street. For some time, people have forgotten their differences, the central message was together we can fight the pandemic. Though there are issues regarding the lockdown that had happened; no social gathering, market, and even religious gathering, still to certain extend people adhere to the covid19 campaign.
The central campaign message is social distancing, frequent washing of hands and wearing of face mask often. Yes, this is right, but my concern is, why are there changes to the level of adherence to the preventive measure of COVID-19? You no longer see people with face mask often, no handwashing stands in public places, social distancing is now a mirage.
The level of acceptability and believability of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria is now questionable. People no longer believe and adhere to the messages. This is what I termed as “Right campaign, the wrong message.” From the beginning, the media campaign messages should have been of inculcating the message that will make people believe the existence of the disease. Though at a point people has believed the existence of the pandemic, in my opinion, COVID-19 reportage in Nigeria is politically inclined.
I have watched many gatherings of stakeholders, people responsible for the COVID-19 campaign, it surprised me to clearly see the hypocritical message; no social distancing, and not all with a facemask. The campaign sends a different message while their action portrays different thing.
This is also one of the things that influenced the level of awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria now.
Dear leaders, (Stakeholders), Nigerians are tired of the hypocritical message of covid19. Protecting the lives and properties of citizens is the first responsibility you have sworn to do. The pandemic is real, but politicizing the pandemic is a danger to humanity and all sectors; most especially the economic and education. People from the grassroots are now suffering from inflation, the exorbitant prices of both food and non-food items have put tears in the eyes of many Nigerians and also their children were set back from schools.
We are all Nigerians, we elected you there, protecting our interest should be your priority. We still have hope in you, know also we still pray for you, but our prayers will be more effective if you decide to accept change.
Disclaimer: Campus Reporter has done very minimal editing to this opinion article.
Investigative Journalism And Public Relations At A Crossroad In Nigeria
To enable us to understand the concept of public relations in its simplest form, Dr Cosmos Eze during one of…
WPFD2021: In Defense of Press Freedom in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government,…