Spread the love


| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|


Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE

Amount: ₦3,000.00


The study assesses the role of newspapers coverage of PDP crisis and conflicts especially at the national level. The Nigerian leading newspapers namely; The Punch, The Nation, Vanguard and Daily Trust were selected for the study. This study therefore seeks to determine the major types of newspapers’ contents on PDP crisis situations in Nigeria; and ascertain the extent to which news stories are higher than other types of newspapers’ contents on PDP political crisis situations in Nigeria. Using content analysis as the main instrument of facts generation, this study submits that newspapers in Nigeria are grossly but surprisingly lacking in editorials on PDP crisis situations; news stories are consistently the major type of newspapers’ content on PDP political issues or events; the Nigerian newspapers have operated more as active players in PDP crisis than as an impartial judge of such crisis, conflicts, events, analysis and controversies. This has impaired greatly the management of such political crisis and conflicts. The study recommended among other things that news editors should avoid obvious framing of stories which reflect bias on the basis of their political inclinations for the sake of an informed citizenry.

                                        CHAPTER ONE


1.1 Background of the Study

Newspapers remain one of the major carriers of information and current happenings around the world. However, Newspapers are largely or seemingly understood to be synonymous with news stories. Mass media as a channel of communication is so vital in our daily lives that no nation can do without it. It is the exchange of ideas, views, information, experiences and the sharing of meanings between persons, nations, societies and cultures. The history and nature of newspapers in Nigeria are politically connected to Nigeria’s colonial role (Duyile, 2007).

The understanding of the place of mass media communication becomes more imperative in the 21st century for obvious reasons. The 21st Century is the age of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) powered by the developments in computer technology. The age of ICTs has taken science and technology to another level. Nations, societies, peoples and even businesses are now run with the help of technology; those that are not technology complaint lose their touch, influence and essence. One sure way of keeping in touch with our contemporary world is through the media. The media (press or newspapers) anywhere in the world are generally referred to as the “Fourth Estate of The Realm” and the “watchdog of the society”, meaning that the media exist as an organ of information sourcing and dissemination, educational promotion, entertainment, surveillance and social enlightenment and mobilization.

The Nigerian press history dates back to 1859 when the first newspaper Iwe Irohin Fun Awon Ara Egba ati Yoruba, established by an Anglican Missionary, Reverend Henry Townsend, was published in Abeokuta, South West of Nigeria (Duyile, 2007). Townsend, had in 1854, established a printing press and set up a printing school in Abeokuta prior to the publication of the newspaper which was first mainly in Yoruba (1859-1866), and later bilingual (1866-1867). Townsend had made it clear from the outset that the paper was established with the aim of providing information for the Egba people and the Yoruba community. This already shows that one of the primary aims of newspapers is the basic provision of information. Today, newspapers are still a vital part of Nigeria information system. Nevertheless, the Nigerian political system which witnessed a lot of instability, until the return to democratic role in 1999, and yet continued to be experience some serious political crisis has had the newspaper publications all the way as part of the challenging democratic journey. While news is already synonymous with newspapers’ coverage of events or issues, one can only imagine the level at which other types of newspapers’ content are explored in the coverage of some of the political crisis situations.

However, Nigeria as a developing nation needs a press more attuned to developmental reporting than with political crises. Nwuneli (1986), notes that too much crises journalism can have a disturbing effect on the rationality and the quietness that is needed in a developing country. This view also receives the support of Mahatma Gandhi cited in Galadima and Enighe (2001 :62-3) thus: “The press is a great power but as an unchained torrent submerges the whole countryside and devastates crops, even so an uncontrolled pen serves but to destroy”.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), became Nigeria’s ruling party at the federal level with considerable strength at local level between 1999 and 2015. Between May 1999 when Nigeria returned to democratic rule for the third time in its political history and May 2015 when it held its fifth general election in this dispensation, the country was ruled by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The dominance of this party for 16 years in the electoral politics of Nigeria was ensured by its electoral strength and geographical spread in the country. The 2015 general elections were, therefore, a turning point on the electoral and political fortunes of this party that once prided itself as “the largest party in Africa.” In these elections, PDP lost its status as the dominant party in the Fourth Republic. The 2015 general elections returned a new party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), as the major one for the first time in the electoral history of Nigeria. This has since raised series of political crisis between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the present ruling party All Progressive Congress (APC) till date.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The menace of political parties’ crisis began immediately after the death of Nigeria’s military head of state in 1998, General Sani Abacha, and the appointment of General Abdussalam Abubakar as his successor who changed the trajectory of democratization program in the country dramatically. Before his death, Abacha had unveiled a democratization program in 1994 but received little support from the civil society because it was perceived to have been designed to ensure his self-succession plan. This unenthusiastic reception affected the credibility of the program and left the country with a transition program defective in its popularity (Abubakar, 1998).

National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON) was replaced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the mandate to register new parties, supervise their activities, and conduct new rounds of elections. In the pursuit of its mandate, INEC invited interested political associations to submit their applications for registration as political parties. About 26 associations submitted their applications with only nine receiving provisional approval to participate in the December 1998 council elections. These were the Alliance for Democracy (AD), All Peoples Party (APP), Democratic Advance Movement (DAM), Movement for Democracy and Justice (MDJ), National Solidarity Movement (NSM), and PDP. The rest were the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), United Democratic Party (UDP), and United Progressive Party (UPP). To avoid cluttering the political space with redundant parties, participation by any of these parties in the subsequent rounds of election was made dependent on its winning at least 10% of the total votes in the council elections of 1998 in at least two thirds of the states in the federation.

General Abdussalam Abubakar released political prisoners and invited political exiles to return home. A former military head of state, Olusegun Obasanjo, convicted of plotting to overthrow Abacha in 1995, was one of the released prisoners. Shortly afterward, Obasanjo joined PDP, contested, and won the 1999 presidential election to become the first elected president of Nigeria in the Fourth Republic (Abubakar, 1998). This was the beginning of political crisis and conflicts in Nigeria till date. In view of the above mentioned challenges this study takes a close look at newspaper coverage of PDP crisis situations at the national level.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This study primarily aimed at finding out how the Nigerian newspapers covered PDP political crisis at the national level. Specifically, the study hopes to:

  1. Examine the level of prominence given to PDP crisis in the Nigerian newspapers at the national level.
  2. Find out the frequency of coverage given to PDP political crisis and conflicts in the Nigerian newspapers.
  3. Examine the quality of reportage given to PDP crisis in the Nigerian newspapers.
  4. To proffer possible solutions to the challenges of poor coverage of political news by Nigerian newspapers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *