By Audu Innocent
March, 13th 2012
The functions of politics, politicians, mass media and practitioners and the extent, to which they perform their functions in Nigeria, formed the main focus of this paper. The paper used the actualization of electoral campaign promises by politicians to base its discussion and evaluate how the mass media, politicians and politics have performed as functional units of the Nigerian society to achieve these promises. The paper adopted the Pluralist Functionalist theory and the Agenda Setting theory to support its position and discussion. Findings revealed that politics and politicians to a large extent have failed in delivering their campaign promises to the electorate in Nigeria and the mass media and its practitioners who are meant to be the “watch dog” of the society and the government are not doing much, and has seemingly assumed the position of “dog watch”. This according to the paper is mainly due to the culture of greed that has slowly crept into our society. The paper is however quick to add that the situation is not all negative, politics in Nigeria is improving and the mass media though not utilizing its full potentials has contributed to its growth and held the politicians accountable to some of their campaign promises to the masses but more still needs to be done on the part of all. The paper concludes that our value culture in Nigeria needs proper re-orientation- people who have failed in government or politicians who have siphon public funds should not be celebrated and the freedom of information law recently passed by the National Assembly should be fully implemented to enable the mass media practitioners monitor the activities of politicians even better.
Society is a complex structure that is made up of different organs that work in unison to help it attains its goals and aspiration in an atmosphere of peace and unity. The successes recorded in the cause of achieving societal goals translate in general into the developmental success of a nation. This common assumption can be observed in all societies of the world and Nigeria is by no means exempted from this assertion.
Key element in the development of any nation is determined by how well the major players involve in the actualization of its policies perform their responsibilities. In Nigeria, one could easily identify these key elements to include: politics, politicians, mass media and practitioners. Though there are several others but these four shall be the focus of this paper.
The question that readily comes to mind is how well the four elements (politics, politician, mass media and practitioners) as vital elements in the development process perform their functions in Nigeria?
What is the relationship between politics, politician, mass media and practitioners as it relates to their performing the functions the nation and society in particular expects of them?
For the purpose of understanding it is important to demystify the following concepts as it relates to their usage in this paper in other to place the reader on a better pedestal to follow this discourse.
Politics: can simply be describe as the market place or arena where ideas on public policies, societal goals and the best approaches to achieving those goals are ''bought'', ''sold'', discussed and debated in an organized forum. It is the blueprint machinery that shapes the development direction of a nation.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle describes man as a “political animal”. This invariably means that man cannot separate himself from politics, the activities of politics will affect him one way or another.
Ekeanyanwu and Adekoya (2008) assert that the term politics originated from the greek word “polis” which...