The Nigeria Media Under The Military Rule

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Nigeria Media Under The Military Rule


The interim national government headed by chief Earnest Shonekan popularly known as “ING” was a child of circumstances the regime under general Sani Abacha murdered the child of circumstance. And the regime was regard as a child of necessity. But the antecedent that led to the birth of both children was the announcement of the June 12 Mandate of 1993.

The announcement of the June 12, Presidential general election of 1993 can never be wiped away from the book of word history neither can it easily be erased from the mind of the Nigerians who gave the mandate.

And the June 12 of 1993 controversial issue which attracted many of criticism from all over the world and led to whatsoever sanction that was placed on Nigerian during Abacaha regime. Abacha in his public broadcast to Nigerians, promised that his administration being a child of necessity was born with new packages that will necessitate a suitable democratically elected government, there would be the appointment of the constitutional review committee followed by the establishment of national constitutional body that would come out with a constitution that would reflect geographical heterogeneity of Nigeria.

But the question is, why was the relationship between the child of necessity and the media?

The advancement of any society whether political, economical, educational and soci-cultural development is dependent on the available of adequate information to the members of the public. And the chief custodian of the free market place of ideals is the media. But when the height of free market place of ideals is denied, the society cannot be carried along in the development governmental activities in the state.

IBB’s military regime fermented the media over eight years and even prevented the psyche of the media so much that the voice of he media was not different this is because military culture had common breast which they suck .. moreover, during Abacha’s first broadcast he used IBB’s phrases throughput..

However, this study will try as much as possible to highlight the various torment of the media under the administration of Abacha. The study is highly proposed towards excavating the or deals and predicaments of the Nigeria media, under Abacha military regime.

These predicaments are to be examined under the broad categories of extra- legal measures against the media.
Elicitation of obnoxious decrees against the media and finally proscription of media houses.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

As one of the most important institutions in nay organized human society, the media is always objected to play vital roles in the society. The obligation is, in many ways self imposed and goes well with the freedom to report comment participate and publish which the media always fifth for, guards very jealousy and cherish enormously.

The child of circumstances came to be generally known an accepted as the Abacha regime. Before this military regime, Nigeria had undergone series of military government, each Junta era brought with itself several measures which acted as impediment on the Nigerian media. The dictatorship stand for eight long years, which the media under these years had a raw deal from it.

It is only in an environment of freedom within the law and with responsible judgment that the role which the media has fro the role can be vitally carried out.

Once this freedom is unjustly and intermittently interfered with by government, law courts or any others groups or individual, the media tend not to function very effectively and the most affected are the people because they are not well, informed .

There was a lot of dictatorship under the military because they had the ultimate power which is the power to Gun. They didn’t give the media room to play their roles as watchdog of the society rather they mate out extra- legal measures on the media more as punishment for reporting fats than as check as and balances.

The media can be regarded both as a compass and a morrow compass as used by the surveyor to map out the surrounding effectively and to set up the needed direction and on the other hand a mirror no only to see himself as he is, but also to see clearly how crooked or straight the path already mapped out is, without deviating from cutting out al the important direction. It is hoped that this work will go long way in reviewing critically the Nigerian media under Abacha regime.

1.2 Objective of the Study

The objective of every study or research work is basically to discover new facts, gather information and then suggest where necessary solution to problems and discuss ways of preventing such occurrences in future. Due to the nature of this regime and the circumstances that led to its inception, the media needed to maintain creditability so as to foster justice, unity and progress which every Nigerian longed for. The objectives of this work is to know how free the media fared during the periods in question in order to render its services ad eh watchdog of the society.

The study is to ascertain the relationship between the media and Abacha regime was it healthy or unhealthy? The effect that the relationship had on the profession in particular and the security in general.

In researching in to this topic I will be able to bring together and analyze vital facts on the facts on the problems and propose ways to solve the problem as it affects journalistic profession in the country.

1.3 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is to highlight the fate of the journalist under military role and the consequent effects of this on the journalism profession.

However, the study will sere as insight for military role and possibly build up their strong will towards the profession.

1.4 Research Questions

There are question that were asked to help provided answers to this work the Nigerian media under military regime.
The research questions in this study are:

  1. Did the military government impose any restriction on the media?
  2. To what extent did the media exercise its freedom under military regime?
  3. Between military and civilian government which one ensure the free form of information?
  4. Was Abacha era worse that his predecessors in terms of government/media relationship
  5. Did the media help to stop military dictatorship in this country.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. Hi: Military regime imposed server hindrances to information dissemination.
    Ho: Military regime did not imposed server hindrances to information dissemination.
  2. H2: The media had total freedom under military regime
    Ho: The media had no total freedom under military regime
  3. H3: Abacha’s tenor was better than other military regime in terms of government /media relationship
    Ho: Abacha’s tenor was worse than other military regime in terms of government /media relationship

1.6 Definition of Terms

Conceptual Definitions
Mass media:

Newspaper, printed publication, radio and television usually issued daily


Having authority over the people/thing.


The act of doing something.

Practicing journalism:

Somebody who works for the media and has training and qualification in journalism or mass communication.


The period during which one is in authority

Operational definitions
Mass media

Total number of media stations sampled for this study


Total average scored or responded to questions addressing Abacha military dictatorship towards mass media.


Total average scores drawn from the questions which were used to text variables.

Practicing journalist

The aggregate number of journalist who make up the population for the study feed its public with anything to make it up for flow.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

This study is limited to certain media publication as it deals with the Nigeria media under military regime. (Abacha tenor) even though the other tenors before Abacha treated our journalist in the same way.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

In this study, our focus was to carryout a critical analysis of the Nigeria media under the military rule. The study specifically was aimed at ascertaining the media under Abacha’s regime in Nigeria.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff in THIS DAY newspaper in Abuja.

Based on the findings, that Abacha’s tenor was not better than other military regime in terms of government /media relationship.

It also revealed that The media had no total freedom under military regime.

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