Media role in fostering peaceful democratic regime changes and peaceful transitions of governments in Nigeria
Silk Ogbu (School of Media & Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos-Nigeria.)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores the role of the media in the sensitive but critical process of regime change in African democratic experiments. Using the Nigerian experience in 2015 as a base, it examines the implications of elite behavior and media acquiescence for democratic growth in Africa
Paper long abstract:
All over the world, the media plays a pivotal role in politics. Essentially, media and communication institutions do not merely entertain, inform and educate citizens about the political choices available to them during elections; they also hold governments accountable for their policy decisions and actions whenever they get elected into power. Nowhere is this sensitive role of the media more significant than in the emerging democracies of Asia and Africa plagued by fragile and disruptive political actors and processes. Across the African continent, violent insurgencies and unstable political contraptions are on the increase, spurred by challenges emanating from regime changes and succession politics. As the biggest democracy in Africa, it is worrisome to note that Nigeria experienced the first peaceful civilian-civilian regime change since its independence in 1960 only in 2015. In many other countries, the process has continued to be frustrated by coalitions of powerful elites in pursuit of personal interests at the expense of sociopolitical instability and fragmentation of their homelands. From the prisms of the Social Responsibility Theory and Elite Theory, this paper interrogates the role of the media in promoting peaceful successions of power in Nigeria and draws attention to the behavior of elites as the most determinant factor in curbing disruptions and violence before, during and after transitions of governments.
Regime change, democratic experiments and trends in succession politics in Africa