Tuesday, 18 March 2014

NTA and Flaunting Of Particular Ethno-Religious Value System

By Polycarp Onwubiko

Articulate and starry-eyed Nigerians from the Southern part of the country might have observed and noted the orchestrated and subtle campaign to feist Moslem religious value system on the rest of Nigerians through the news casters and bureau chiefs of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). The naïve manipulation has its source and spring during the military regimes headed by the Northerners. It was apparently a taboo for Southerners and Christians who had wanted one favour or the other from Aso Rock Villa during the Abacha regime had to put on Hausa-Fulani dress code of either Caftan or babaringa with cap.
In other to intimidate other ethnic groups and Christians and leave the children with the impression that Caftan and Babaringa with cap is the recognized national dress code, the leadership of NTA was covertly directed to compel news casters to be putting on the so-called cultural attire with cap to reflect Moslem religious rule on wearing cap, females ‘hijab’ while Christian spinsters dress like married women with head-gear. In the NTA news casters employment, preference had been given to Moslems and over three women or ladies read news with the Moslem dress code for female called “Hijab”, like their men counterpart, they are so proud to be flaunting their religiosity. In the reckoning of the covert directive, only Northern Moslem women are qualified to be news casters while Northern Christians from Kaduna South, Plateau and Benue States are adjudged not fit to be news casters in the NTA.
In the surreptitious move to suppress Christian religious and ethnic groups from the South values on dressing, spinsters are compelled to dress like married women with head-gear. Male news casters are also compelled to put on cap and barred from putting on fashion designers dresses without cap and world recognized attire of shirt with tie and suit. In the frantic bid to cover up the Moslem religious instigation for the quixotic dressings, the NTA leadership believed that it is show-casing the supposed rich cultural attire of Nigerians. Consequently news casters of Igbo race put up all kinds of rubbish, uninspiring and old fashioned dresses with disgusting cap all in the name of show-casing the so-called rich Igbo dress code. The leadership of the NTA has crafted the perpetration of Moslem/Hausa dress code to the extent that zonal bureau Chiefs are made to put on caftan and babaringa with cap.
It is curious to observe that the former Lagos zone bureau Chief, Mr. Adeoye Ademola who put on Yoruba dress code to reflect Yoruba dressing to reflect the cultural zone has been replaced with Hausa/Moslem news caster dress with their peculiar dress code. Of course the NTA would justify the cultural suppression that staff are transferred irrespective of ethnic origin. If this is the case, where is the supposed promotion of “rich cultural dresses of the respective ethnic groups in the country? Let the new Lagos Bureau Chief be wearing Yoruba dress since it is not inferior to caftan and babaringa. Who is fooling who in the covert ethno-religious colonialism?  The insincerity of the dress code gimmick is ostensibly to impose Northern Moslem value system of females wearing “hijab” with no difference between married and unmarried females; while the males always wear caftan and babaringa with cap. Must every Nigeria be putting on cap? All other ethnic groups/Christians maintain a remarkable distinction in the dress code of married and unmarried females while many ethnic groups like the Igbos do not value wearing cap. Again, Christian religion according to the Bible enjoins men not to put on cap and also in the worship centres. In Igbo land, spinsters do not put on married women attire with headgear, and this cultural/religious prescription and values must be respected by the NTA. Some thoughtless leadership of state televisions have sheepishly copied the naïve NTA style having been deceived that it is to promote the so-called cultural dress code. The impact of this write-up is to warn the leadership of the NTA to stop dancing to the age-long covert tune of ethno-religious jingoists, who think about no other thing progressive in Nigeria other than foisting their voluptuous dress code, decadent and uninspiring value system.
If Nigeria really belongs to all the ethnic/religious groups, the NTA should allow Christian spinsters who are news casters to dress like spinster while male newscasters from Igbo, Edo, Benue, Rivers etc should be allowed to appear in suit or shirt with tie and modern fashion dressings without cap. It is naïve and silly to perceive shirt with tie and suit as white man’s dress while over 95 percent of the electronic and engineering equipment in the television stations is white man’s ingenuity and resourcefulness. Television stations all over the world do not prescribe religious/ethnic dress codes. Even in Moslem countries, media personnel like in Al Jazeera put on suit and females do not put hijab while reporting news and in the news room. There is no text book in Mass Communication that prescribes a dress code. It is only a fool that will not recognize suit as the best dress code in the world, the impressionable minds of children should not be dogged with ethno-religious bias in dress code. This brazen ethno-religious imperialism and terrorism must be checked by the progressive forces and Christians in the southern part of the country.
Mr. Onwubiko is an author and commentator on national issues and wrote from Awka, Anambra State.            



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