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Lord, Does this gov’t want the media to survive?

Dear Father:

Our old people often say there are many ways to kill a cat -and for many reasons too.  The cat like the dog is one of two pets that are often found in most homes. In fact, these animals, in some homes, are counted as part and parcel of the family.

The cat, because of its skillfulness and treatment it enjoys from members of the household, coupled with its survival tactics, many just find it difficult to publicly hunt it down-mainly for fear of negative public perception. So, in most instances, those who find this pet as a delicacy have several ways of quietly killing it.

And you know Father; sometimes those who are actually engage in killing this pet for delicacy are those who publicly professed to love it and for obvious reasons too.

But my son, where from you with this other cat parable again?

Father, you see, our village leaders have continued to boast of how media friendly they are and have been over the years. They boast of not having any town crier in jail, not closing down any town crier network and also allowing people to say anything they want to say-freedom of speech they called it.

But you know something, despite all of these freedoms that they go about beating their chests both in our village fiefdoms and surrounding neighborhoods, they, like the cat killers have other ways to suppress the media without taking away any of the above freedoms.

Tell me something my son!

Yes, Father and one of the best ways is financial strangulation-they want to keep the media financially dependent, like that they control the media. Once the media is brook, it will always look up for help and in so doing it will compromise its independence in so many ways.

Father, for instance, it is an undeniable fact that advertisement is the life wire for any media institution be it electronic or newspaper, but this government through its various ministries will choose to advertise and not pay for the advertisement. Yet, they want you pay taxes, how can one pay his or her taxes when you credit from them and don’t pay?

Any you know Father, what more frustrating is their shameless behavior. When they come to advertise with you and asked whether you have your business registration and tax clearance up to date and you provide same, after you have done the job they wait sometimes until after one or two budget periods and come back to ask you for new tax clearance and business registration to make payment on the same advertisement you published a year or two ago. Sometimes they come asking you over five times, like the ministry of state that now has to be told it is okay they can keep the money.

Why do you have to tell them to keep the money?

Father ,it make no sense, for people to keep coming back at your office asking to resubmit one invoice you submitted over a year ago along with current tax clearance, when the fiscal period under which you did the job had long expired. Secondly, it demonstrates ineptitude on the part of those handling such documents-it is either they are very careless with public documents or not just fit to occupy certain positions.

Father they just had to be told that nobody was ready to waste their time in preparing another document for their own carelessness and something they will not pay for in the first place. No wonder they are having serious difficulties with their public relations.

You know, it is so frustrating when people pretend to be saviors but in actually fact they are your enemies of progress. In some cases when they showered praises on you, it just means they are only tolerating you.

Last year, for example, after the government realized that it had not pay us for months and saw that some of us were still surviving, it ordered two conservative audits. They were surprised at how we have managed to survive their kill them all tactics.

What a shame of people who pretend to be your friend but in actual fact want you to continue to look up to them and keep begging for something that you rightfully work for? This is so because some of us don’t go begging them for the advertisement, because if so they will have all rights to say “this is why I did not want to advertise in the first place.” But the situation is in the reversed; they come asking to place the adverts.

And another thing I don’t understand is that they all have provisions for the placement of these advertisements in their budget lines, so what do they do with those allocations?

That’s a very good question my son.

Yes, Father, this is why I used the old people parable that there are many ways to kill a cat. Since they go around beating their chests for promoting free speech, the next thing is to silently strangulate the media-financially, because you don’t want to receive public lashes na.

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