UNN: AIT AND THE ACUTE NEGATIVITY SYNDROME, ANS
African Independent Television, AIT, emerged as Nigeria's first private television station, with all Nigerians rejoicing that the station would provide the alternative voice.
Of course, the station in the early days of its operation lived up to this expectation.
But years down the line, all Nigerians are aware of how the AIT has degenerated in terms of objectivity and credible reports.
In December, the Federal Government resolved to first suspend the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a few days later went ahead to remove the recalcitrant Pro-Chancellor, Mr Emeka Enejere.
That was the beginning of AIT's onslaught on UNN.
All manners of reports and commentaries were commissioned by the chairman of AIT, Raymond Dokpesi against the management of the UNN.
Every other day, AIT churned out one form of false report or the other.
The goal of these false reports and commentaries has been to create the impression that the UNN has collapsed and it can only be resuscitated if Mr Emeka Enejere is returned as the Pro-Chancellor of the university.
To achieve this, AIT correspondents and hired commentators manipulated information repeatedly to deceive unsuspecting Nigerians.
From our investigations, Mr Emeka Enejere is a long time friend of the chairman of AIT, hence the refusal of AIT to stick to the ethics of journalism.
Even upcoming media groups know the significance of balancing reports and cross-checking information.
But for AIT, the journalism ethics mean nothing in the face of the friendship of her chairman and Mr Enejere.
We have carefully examined the actions of AIT and we have come to the conclusion that the media house is only taking advantage of the recent Nigerian disease called Acute Negativity Syndrome, ANS.
This disease has been widespread in the country, afflicting majority of Nigerians.
For the purpose of this discourse, ANS is the inability of an individual to see any positive about a public institution or public officer, hence he is ever willing to believe any negative information about a public institution or individual, no matter how outlandish the information sounds.
In other words, obvious lies are believed, as long as they are told about a public institution or public offer.
The ugly thing about the ANS is that once you are discovered to be a liar, the ever negative public is willing to forgive you and await the next lie.
This sickness is work the AIT exploits to the maximum.
On Friday, January 10, the AIT aired a completely false report about the situation of academic activities at the UNN.
The report aired during the station's News Hour indicated that the school was like a ghost town with no academic activities taking place.
This was the lie of the New Year and it generated shock and disbelief to parents, lecturers and stakeholders of the UNN community.
How could a major television fail to send reporters to the university to verify the true situation? How could they stay within the air-conditioned comfort zone to concoct a report on a key university in the country? How could they forget that the UNN they are toying with survived the Civil War and would survive the onslaught by the AIT's media war team? We are happy that another media outlet, the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, visited the university and exposed the AIT and Raymond Dokpesi.
Students and lecturers were everywhere on the Enugu and Nsukka campus engaged in academic activities.
The NTA reporter interviewed several lecturers and students on campus, showing the peaceful atmosphere of the campus.
That same weekend, ASUU members suspended Enejere's nephew Dr.
I Abada who was until then, the ASUU branch chairman.
They also suspended Mrs Christy Obikeguna, financial secretary and welfare officer respectively.
Incidentally, on Monday, January 13, AIT had the suspended Dr Abada on set discussing UNN on behalf of ASUU.
This anomaly is the worst that any medium that should engage in.
He and his co-travellers led deliverately by AIT anchors levelled all kinds of allegations against the UNN management and the Vice Chancellor, Prof.
The management had no representative on that set.
Later that evening, AIT aired a very biased one-sided Big Story and again linked live two pro-Enejere commentators to further drive home their ugly and unfortunate agenda.
They made no attempt to balance the live linkage.
For us, we have obtained a letter written by the UNN management to NBC on the false and biased reportage by AIT on UNN.
We took time to circulate the letter to newsmen.
For now, it has only been published online.
The mainstream media has shunned it, perhaps in sympathy with AIT.
However, we are calling on the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, to quickly investigate the allegation by the UNN management against AIT and take appropriate action.
Heading towards 2015, the NBC must rise up to the challenge.
The AIT must not be allowed to destroy the reputation of a Premier Indigenous University simply because Dokpesi is a friend to sacked Enejere.
Back to the Enejere matter.
Enejere hails from one of the three host communities of the UNN and has been at the fore-front of producing a Vice Chancellor of Nsukka extraction at the expiration of the tenure of Prof.
That is what his vicious fight was about.
In his desperation, Enejere forgot that the Federal Government cannot watch him destroy the University.
Okolo leaves in May, why then the hullabaloo.
This man has led the University for Four years and 7 months.
Is it now that he is on his way out that Enejere and AIT will exploit the acute negativity syndrome? These allegations being orchestrated by AIT are just meant to promote a clandestine design.
Nigerians should begin to look critically at those who persistently point accusing fingers at public institutions and officers.
AIT's owners and editorial team should realize that the UNN is way beyond their notorious practice of STOMACH JOURNALISM.
Written By Greg Okoroafor