Kano, the economic and political hub of northern Nigeria, has long been a hotspot for political activity and power struggles. The state has witnessed a dynamic interplay between political factions, particularly the Kwankwasiyya movement led by the NNPP (Nigeria National People’s Party) and the Gandujiyya faction within the APC (All Progressives Congress). These political factions have not only divided the electorate but have also significantly influenced and polarized the local media landscape, creating a divide among Kano journalists.
The Kwankwasiyya movement, named after former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, emphasizes populist policies and projects aimed at improving the welfare of the common people. Kwankwaso’s tenure witnessed the implementation of various developmental initiatives, particularly in education and healthcare, which garnered significant public support.
On the other hand, the Gandujiyya faction, led by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, aligns with the APC’s broader national agenda while maintaining its own regional dynamics. The faction’s approach has focused on infrastructural development, economic growth, and investment promotion in Kano State.
The ideological divergence between Kwankwasiyya and Gandujiyya has spilled over into the media landscape, creating a divide among Kano journalists. Journalists who align with the Kwankwasiyya movement tend to emphasize its populist policies and achievements, while highlighting perceived shortcomings of the Gandujiyya faction. These journalists often criticize policies that they perceive as favoring political elites over the common citizenry.
On the other side, journalists supportive of the Gandujiyya faction showcase its developmental achievements and economic growth initiatives. They often downplay or counter narratives put forth by the Kwankwasiyya-aligned media, aiming to portray a positive image of the ruling faction’s governance.
The polarization of Kano journalists raises ethical concerns regarding balanced reporting and the objective dissemination of information. Journalists are tasked with providing unbiased and accurate news coverage; yet, the political divide can sometimes lead to biased reporting, misinformation, and sensationalism. This challenge is exacerbated by the close association between certain media outlets and specific political camps.
The political divide among Kano journalists has led to a decline in media credibility, as many outlets are perceived as aligned with particular political factions. This erosion of public trust in journalism as a whole leads to skepticism about the veracity of news stories and contributes to a fragmented information landscape.
In the midst of this divide, Kano journalists face the challenge of upholding their professional responsibility to provide balanced and unbiased reporting. The role of journalists as watchdogs of democracy is crucial in ensuring accountability and transparency within the political landscape. It is imperative for journalists to rise above factional pressures and adhere to ethical reporting standards.
The division among Kano journalists as a result of the Kwankwasiyya and Gandujiyya political factions underscores the complex interplay between politics and the media. It serves as a reminder of the power of political ideologies to shape public discourse and influence journalistic practices. As Kano navigates its political landscape, journalists must prioritize their commitment to objective reporting, safeguarding the credibility of the media as a pillar of democracy.
Buhari Abba is a Kano-based journalist, working with CITAD Online Radio.