did not take long though, to give in to the temptation of engaging in
a personal hobby. The hobby of taking pains to understand the
passionate viewpoint of a fellow human who shows to the world that he
has a message to impart on the rugged ears of history!
was at this juncture that it dawned on me that the subject of Olusegun
Obasanjo is one that will continue to live with Nigeria and Nigerians
now and perhaps, many more years into the future.
the title of this book implies, the failure of journalism was given
more prominence than the failure of political leadership. Customary
approaches in the appraisal of Obasanjo’s years on the leadership
throne of Nigeria are either putting blames squarely on Obasanjo
himself for one failure or the other or in a few cases, eulogizing him
in an attempt to understand the philosophy he represents and the
benefits Nigeria reaped from him.
of such meaningful presentations was made quite recently, by a retired
British Professor of African History at Cambridge University Prof.
John Ilife. In his book “Obasanjo, Nigeria and The World”, the author
appreciated the groundwork laid by Olusegun Obasanjo in pushing this
African country through a new path of modernity. He particularly
emphasized that Olusegun Obasanjo was not a celebrated fan of
jurisprudence, legality and judicial explorations. Prof. Ilife
underscored that Obasanjo’s paramount concern was to push Nigeria
forward politically. This is no doubt, a thesis that will incite an
Frisky Larr however, took a unique approach by putting the
responsibility squarely on the shoulders of an excessively militant
and non-compromising media for all the outward perceptions that the
world has today, of the years of Olusegun Obasanjo. In his attempt to
measure the damages done by the media to the overall development of
Nigeria, Frisky Larr kicks off some reawakening of consciousness for a
form of journalistic ethic that should guide the profession through
all future endeavors. He does not only chastise the poor professional
quality of journalism in the country, he also identifies some leading
figures spearheading the game in its failures and achievements.
While straying deeply into history and addressing very many details
that we may believe we already know, Frisky Larr surprises and
sometimes shocks his readers in his typical manner of skillfully
linking up events to expose enormous similarities to very current
experiences on the political scene. This inevitably leads to
impressive revelations smoothened into a fluent narrative in divulging
the manipulative damages of the North-South dichotomy and the mafia
It is a political analysis seeking to
provide a straight view of political events in Nigeria under the
Presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007. It is basically
focused on the fierce altercation between this presidency and a large
section of the Nigerian media with the latter planting a seeming
eternally damning seed of condemnation on all that the presidency
stood for through its eight years of service to the nation. The work
is predicated on the central premise that the news media in Nigeria
committed a grievous error of professional omission towards the
presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo not necessarily in its conclusion on
the government but basically, in the way and manner the attack was
conducted. Part of the witch-hunt persists till the present day.
purpose of Frisky’s treatise seems to be setting the records straight
and positioning a minimum of one viewpoint in historical archives to
permit perception from a somewhat “third-party’s position” for our
future generation. Final judgment can then be left to history with a
final peace of conscience.
work comprises eleven chapters. It begins with a historical trip
through the crucial event of 1976 that saw the unsolicited elevation
of then Brigadier-General Olusegun Obasanjo to political prominence.
The journey through history sought to document the sources and
sequence of some of the huge problems that grew and accumulated in
Nigeria over the years. It was therefore instructive to provide a
not-too-detailed but compelling picture of successive military
governments and the problems they left behind before the second-coming
of the civilian President Obasanjo in 1999. This of course, includes
the rough road of deceitfully imposed dissidence and subversion that
Olusegun Obasanjo had to tread in ascension to the ultimate throne.
a clear picture of the enormity of problems presented, the work sought
to identify Obasanjo’s personal approach with conflicting
psychological and political experiences.
full chapter was devoted each way, to cataloging his achievements and
failures. Thereafter, the attitude of the press was highlighted with a
view to understanding influences on the media as well as the operative
elements steering the course of media perception.
Clear failings were identified from a purely subjective viewpoint. The
final chapter then addressed suggestions – also from a purely
subjective point of view – on moving the media forward and dislodging
it from the grips of unhelpful interest groups.
Annexes providing references for some comments made as well as other
relevant articles previously released by the author on different
platforms round up the complete work.
Even though the deep adventure into history (in Frisky Larr’s typical
writing style of leading his readers through a less exciting build-up
to a final “climax”) may pose a challenge to an impatient reader,
Nigeria’s Journalistic Militantism is a must-read.