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The history and pattern of media could be traced  to Nigeria subordination to imperialism . Prior to that period, ancient or traditional forms of inter-personal
and mass communications such as drums,town criers etc were employed as instruments of mass enlightenment and mobilization among various people of what we now know as Nigeria.
The role of the media cannot be over-emphasized not only in Nigeria but in the world. The media, always referred to as the forth estate of the realm is needed in the polity to preach change and educate people on how to go about national development. They are the conscience of the nation.AREAS OF CONCERN:
1. USE OF MEDIA STRATEGIES-Nigeria as the father of the African countries  needs the media to propagate national developments especially development at the rural levels. The media can help in nation building by effectively making use of national communication policies that spell out functions,politics, uses, ownership, control or regulation of the mass media,so that it will be employed sorely for national development. The media need to make use of communication or media strategies as information campaigns to change people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviours for development purposes.
According to Jika ;1984” there are bourgeois or reactionary journalists who studiously continue to defend and propagate reactionary views , ideas,values and positions and who are used as fronts for ideological propagation of bourgeois values. Such journalists are megaphones and propagandists of the status quo. They are  apologists of bourgeois domination. Apart from raising non-issues to fundamentals,primordial sentiments are elevated over and above issues of class” The aim being  to confuse,obfuscates and becloud issues.
Nigeria media  should shun those politicians and money bags who want  to pocket them on the altar of Nigeria’s development.Politicizing developmental reportage is counter productive. In journalism, we were taught that the name of the business is ”publish and be dammed.” This is in order to put any government on its toes. Thanks to the freedom of  information law?  Accurate and adequate research , digging deep into the fabrics of governance will prevent overzealous and corrupt politicians and civil servants from dipping his/ her hands into the mud.
Our media should focus  more on the youths in this dispensation of change and righting the wrongs of the past. They are  to hammer more on the youths and adults to developing  positive attitudes toward work.  It is an understatement that many of our youths no longer want to  use their  God-given talents but want cheap money or ‘national cake’. Yet  they want to own  fantastic buildings all over the country and overseas ,hence all sorts of cases such as ”baby factories, drug trafficking and kidnapping. The media are to bring this awareness  to people  that,everybody is inclusive when it comes to nation building and not the government alone.In fact,youths have vital roles to play in nation building as catalyst in the positive change ideology of the present government.Notwithstanding,we still have vibrant youths that are very intelligent,knowledgeable and are ready to do legitimate work.  Some are innovators who need only to be assisted.
Human Development Report(1990) defined human development as ”a process  of enlarging people’s choices” that are created by expanding human capabilities”The media are trying in this area with various articles,interviews,discussions on radio and television stations. More efforts should be geared  towards making the government do what  the poor people want that can better their lives.’ Apart from higher income ,poor people put a high value on adequate nutrition,access to safe drinking water, better medical facilities, better schooling for their children,affordable  transport, adequate shelter,secure livelihood ,productive and satisfying job” The government should not  serve itself  but the people that put them in government,if truly,democracy is ”government of the people,by the people and for the people”. Not only the salaries and allowances of  the elected senators and representatives are to be constantly adjusted or reviewed but also that of the civil servants;the peasants farmers making palm oil  in our villages should also be encouraged by providing good roads,  seedlings and other  vital  materials   for  them.4.RADICAL JOURNALISTS
There are radical journalists who identified  themselves with the ideas, values and aspirations of the marginalized classes and who despite intimidations by powers  that be on their practices, continue to express and champion pro-revolutionary  ideas, values and positions. But these  brilliant,conscientious and  bold journalists should not forget to always  let those youths(and adults) involve in damaging  people’s properties and calling them  government properties know that directly or indirectly, they will have a bite  of the hardship  they are trying to create for people.They are impoverishing the poor more.The media should let them know that violence and destruction are not  the solution  to bring their desired  change in their environments and the country as a whole. The media, along with other institutions such as political structures,cultural institutions,churches and mosques are super structures of any socioeconomic  system  and are to be utilized  to bringing  the desired positive change in our society.
Journalists are poorly remunerated. As a result of lack of resources or mismanagement and little or no professional motivation, not much of investigative journalism is seen these days.This aspect of journalism  profession has always been the most hazardous to pursue,even in  this critical time of economic doldrums. Efforts should be made  to look into the salaries of journalists,provide insurance cover,pension and gratuities for them (especially  the private media practitioners). These incentives will encourage those on active service and the budding ones preach the ideas of national developments with boldness,  making their consciences and ethics of the profession their guiding lamp-post in deviant of personal interest.By Akintunde Idowu

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The author of ‘Gifted Hands’ Dr Ben Carson is a household name in the medical profession all over the world. He is reputed t have laid the foundation of the successful separation of a Siamese twin- a rare feat in the medical profession as a surgeon. No wonder his visit to Nigeria, first of its kind, on 24th January, 2009 meant many things to many people.

I was part of the people that welcomed and graced the arrival of Dr Ben Carson to Nigeria  from America, having been invited for the programme along with others by Brainhive International Masterpiece Resource Development Centre, Lagos.

The event took place at the Lagoon Restaurant, 1C, Ozumba Mbadiwe Way, Victoria Island. Many schools, colleges and universities were invited to drink from the fountain of knowledge of the renown neuro-surgeon-Dr. Ben Carson. Among the schools invited were: American International and Christian The school (AICS), Ibadan, The  Ambassadors, from  Ogun State, Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU),Ile-Ife,Global International College(GIC),Lagos and Corona Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos, to mention a few.

Ben spoke on ‘’The Brain and what it has to do with intellectuals’’. One could not but shed tears of joy to hear the professor and former director of pediatric neuro- surgery at John Hopkins Medical institutions shared his early childhood experience with us with nostalgic feelings. How his half-literate mother positively affected his life and his brother Curtis at a time he (Ben) in particular was lagging behind in his studies at a tender age. That, he was always at the bottom of his class which made his classmates annoyingly and rudely nicknamed him ‘ dummy’  which made him develop a violent and uncontrollable temper.

Like what a good mother would do, Ben’s mother, though not as educated and having divorced Ben’s father, took the bull by the horn to make her children better in life.  Hear the mother according to Ben’s story ‘Bennie, you have to work hard, you have to use that good brain that God gave you’’. According to Ben, his mother made it compulsory for him and his brother to read two books from the library every week and not to watch television programmes until they have finished their home works. That sounded too harsh for Ben and his brother but paid a greater dividend for them as they grew to adulthood. Ben began reading any book he found in his school library and cultivated a reading culture which later took him to the echelon in his class to become the doyen of all. He mentioned particularly a time his class teacher asked the class to identify and mention a type of rock which nobody could identify but him. He was able to recognize the rock because of one of the books he had read in the library.

Contrary to a layman’s belief that the bigger the head, the bigger the brain or better intelligence; Ben says,’’ The size of the head, whether big or small, does not determines intelligence’’.’’ Everybody has to use his  own God-given brain’’

After Ben’s inspiring speech, and many other sides attractions, there was the signing of autographs, questions and answers session.  After the interactive session, we were treated with breakfast delicacies ranging from sandwiches, to cake, juice and tea.

By – Idowu  Akintunde

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The issue of girl-child marriage is no longer a new thing. But the other side of it is whether people, -parents, in particular, understand the dangers involved in giving out their under-aged children in marriage. So, what is child marriage by definition and is it only among Africans that we have it? What are the reasons for girl-child marriage(s), how can we curb or expunge the practice? Are there any social implications? Let’s explore to find these.

Child –marriage is any formal or informal union where one or both parties are under the age of 18 years. Reliable records indicate that 12illion girls are married before the age of 18 years. Child marriage is found across countries, cultures, and religions. For example, the practice happens in Nigeria, Brazil, Indonesia, Ethiopia, North America, and Europe just to mention a few.

Many reasons have been advanced for this form of a barbaric, callous and dangerous form of union. Among these are gender inequality, poverty, traditions, and insecurity. The most common among these reasons are poverty and tradition/culture.

Many parents found it difficult to cater for their children after birth and therefore resort to trading them off before the ripe age of 18 years expecting  that they would get  some financial rewards  from such  ‘business’. Also, they believe that  the child(ren) will no longer be  their own ‘headache’ in terms of welfare which now rests solely on the husband. Similarly, in some traditions/cultures, friends agree to marry off their girl-child even while in the womb. The idea is like trade by barter. The help rendered in the past or to be rendered now or future is compensated with the promise of such under-aged girls without any recourse to their well-being or future.

On the social aspect, they regard it as a social status symbol making their girl-child raise babies to populate their environments, not minding the health  and psychological hazards involved. The underage is later in her husband’s house turned to a sex slave and instrument of abuse on the farm instead of going for formal or basic education to prepare her for future or womanhood. Some of them that are lucky to be in school before they are married off are scared of their precarious situations and daily looking forward to a change or stop to this uncivilized practice. For example, in Ethiopia, it was recorded that a girl was engaged at 8 years and now 12 years old!!! Her major dream now is looking forward to the moment she would leave the school to live with her husband-old enough to be her father.

Because of the serious social negative impact, the  child-marriage  is having  on these innocent  under-age girls and the society, a panorama  was conducted  with the public and other professionals. Let’s hear them:


Question-TIN- What do you understand by girl-child marriage?

Answer-Mrs. Jaiyeola- By my understanding, girl-child marriage is a union between an adult man and an under-aged girl of less than 18 years.

Question-TIN-What in your opinion is responsible for this?


Answer-Mrs Jaiyeola–I think it is lack of education and poverty.

Question-TIN- Can you give out your girl-child in marriage at such a tender age?

Answer- Mrs. Jaiyeola- Never. My girl-child(ren)  are in school and could not be engaged or married until after their education. By that time, they would be mature to decide who to marry.

Question-TIN-Do you envisage any danger in giving out a girl –child in marriage?

Answer- Mrs. Jaiyeola- Yes. It is not a good health-wise. The body system  of the  girl is not  yet developed, she should  still be under her parents and in school learning about  her body  and environment instead of rushing  to involving  herself in making babies.

Question-TIN-What counsel would you offer to parents giving out their children in marriage at the tender age of 12 years or less?

Answer- Mrs. Jaiyeola- They should desist from doing so. They should think of the future of these under-aged and should not be selfish because of the financial gains, they want to achieve. Also, the governments (nationally and globally) should make a law on this and enforce the implementation of the law not to allow girls below 18 years to go into marriage; they should make it illegal.

-Mrs. Jaiyeola is an Educationist and Statistician in Public service


Question-TIN –What do you understand by girl-child marriage?

Answer-Mrs Aleoluwa-Girl-Child marriage is any formal or informal union where one or both of the partners are under 18 years of age, especially the girl who is prone to many complications.

Question-TIN-Do you think this type of union is very convenient?

Answer-Mrs Aleoluwa- NO. It is a marriage of inconvenience where a girl-child is coarse or manipulated by parents into early and dangerous marriage without any consideration for the girl’s well being.

Question-TIN- Is this practice peculiar to the African continent?

Answer-Mrs AleOluwa- NO. It is universal. Although more common in Africa. Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 years; countries, cultures and religions not withstanding-23 girls, every minute, nearly every 2 seconds!

Question-TIN- Do you think this girl-child marriage brings positive development where it is practiced?

Answer-Mrs AleOluwa- There is no right-thinking person that would support an under-aged girl for marriage because of its numerous complications such as subjecting the girl to so many hardships in life, because she is not prepared for the task ahead. She may not know how to cope with relationship, hence end up being labeled ‘a failure’ if eventually divorced. Also, she will be under psychological trauma owing to a greater risk of violence, orchestrated by her supposedly rightful development. Because that is the age to be in a school where she will meet her age mates to learn so many things that would add value to her life.

Question-TIN-Apart from what you’ve mentioned, are there any other disadvantages?

Answer-Mrs AleOluwa- They ate numerous. She is robbed of her childhood experience; she will be trapped in poverty if she doesn’t go to school or learn any trade. It is a form of sexual abuse if forced into such a marriage by the parents. This type of union prevents such a girl-child from achieving her full potentials and unable to realize her dreams or ambitions as she wants.

Question-TIN-Health wise, is the girl-child safe?

Answer-Mrs AleOluwa- Health wise, she is exposed to so many complications ranging from sexually transmitted diseases(STD), mental illness, surgical cases i.e. ruptured uterus, vesicovaginal fistula in which urine will be leaking uncontrollably  out to  a hole formed, linked  to the urinary tract to the reproductive part. Because she is inexperienced, may not allow the baby, product of this marriage to survive because it’s a situation of ‘’a baby has given birth to a baby’’.

Question-TIN- So, there is no advantage in this girl-child marriage?

Answer-Mrs AleOluwa-Even if there is an advantage since the disadvantages override the merits, it is not worth it and we are talking about life in this case. If we value life, we will not look at the advantageous side of it which is very minimal. We should think of life which is paramount; marriage and procreation can still be achieved in later years.

-Mrs. AleOluwa is a professional Nurse at LAUTECH, Oshogbo


-According to Nurse Aleoluwa, obstetric fistula is an injury caused by obstructed labour and which often results in ‘Constance incontinence, shame, and other health problems for social segregation of the victims. Their young bodies are not fully developed and ready to bear children. In Nigeria, Niger state has the largest rate of child marriage in the world!!! Something drastic is to be done about it.

Our Churches, Mosques, Temples (India) should start preaching or sermonizing against child marriage. Pastors/Imams should find out their ages before joining them as husband and wife and use the word of God to discourage such a union.

Communication for change is crucial in this aspect. Let there be street drama, radio and television jingles to sensitize the populace all over the world on the dangers embedded in upholding this practice.

The belief that girl-child marriage is part of some cultures/traditions notwithstanding; it must be discouraged in order not to perpetuate the circle of poverty in various societies from generation to generation. The solution is not to condemn all traditions but to work with communities to change the traditions from within. According to GIRLS NOT BRIDES Champion, Graca Machel’’ Traditions are made by people; they can be changed by people’’.

Girl- Child marriage is not only for girls. Boys are married off too. According to UNICEF, 156 million men alive today were married before 18 years of age. Child marriage often pushes boys into the workforce and forces them to undertake adult responsibilities at unripe ages and before they are ready for it.

The Centre for women development in Nigeria and other similar departments in  countries affected should look into this issue objectively and act fast to discontinue the trend by partnering with their communities, agencies  and the media to use oral-media in campaigning against this deadly monster of child-marriage.

Interview conducted by –Idowu Julius

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You cannot give what you don’t have. Unless you have the experience of how teenagers think and behave, it will be difficult for you to understand or mold them to conform to the standard you want for them. Until you come to their level of thinking, to handle them well might be a mirage. Find below 12 points on how to understand the thinking chemistry of teenagers, how and why they behave in most circumstances:

  1. Teenagers are selfish
  2. They are experimental in nature
  3. They will always  test boundaries and test how emotionally you are
  4. They are proud and over-confident, even at things they may not be able to handle well.
  5. They are rebellious-hate rules and restrictions because they curtail their freedom
  6. Think more intelligently than you.
  7. Peer pressure /influence is strong among teenagers
  8. They want to do whatever they feel like doing without thinking of the consequences.
  9. They don’t live in your own world.
  10. Feeling of inadequacies and unsecured.
  11. Like fun and adventures.

Once you identify any or some of the above mentioned, your job now is to do the following:

  1.       Feed them with accurate knowledge
  2.       Give them the right information
  3.       Correct them in love
  4.       Get them to have confidence in you
  5.       Come to their level.
  6.       Encourage them to read good books-motivational, autobiographies etc.
  7.       Encourage them to talk to you on issues that bother them.
  8.       Let them understand the evils of bottling up their challenges.
  9.       Know and be familiar with all their friends (males or females)

10      Involve them in intelligent discussions.

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The interviews’ is an on-line development communication outfit,established for the coverage of positive developments in our local communities,cities and towns. Its pre-occupation is to showcase inventors and professionals at the grassroots-people who are poised to bringing technical, economic ,social political,religious and cultural developments to the fore.



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