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SOCIETY, CRIME AND NATIONAL SECURITY: ROLE OF THE MEDIA




BY
Ifedayo Akinwalere 

No0vember 2, 2017

1.0       Introduction
Communication channels are referred to as the mass media. These are channels of information dissemination simultaneously to a large, heterogeneous, anonymous and scattered audience. They primarily include newspapers, magazines, books (print media), radio, television, the internet (electronic media), bill boards and posters (outdoor media). These media constitute the basic channels of communication in any society (Nwabueze & Ebeze, 2013). One sure way of keeping in touch with our contemporary world is through the media. Communication is a vital component of our lives and existence and no society has been known to exist without it. It is the exchange of ideas, views, information, experiences and the sharing of meanings between persons, nations, societies and cultures. The press are often in liberal theory referred to as the “Fourth Estate” and the “watchdog of the society”, meaning that the media exist as an organ of information sourcing and dissemination, educational promotion, surveillance, social enlightenment and mobilization (Tobechukwu, 2007). Indeed, almost any mass media system will be subject to certain basic statutory controls, among them is a copyright law to protect authors and publishers, a basic statute designed to preserve the common standard of decency and morality against infraction by mass media, and another basic statute to protect the state against treasonable and seditious utterances and writings.  This is a general practice in most nations.  The mass media in any country is subordinate to the political authorities due to reasons or conditions particular to the State or Government concerned. Hence, in many countries, a high proportion of the mass media public policy problems grow out of either an attempt to balance freedom and responsibility in the media performance or a conflict of rights in which the government may be forced to establish its own superior right by curtailing the rights of other social institutions in a given country (Gambo, 2008). Gambo added that in Nigeria as in many other developing countries, the reality confronting the mass media revolves around the problems of freedom and responsibility. Media men emphasize the right to dissent and de-emphasize their obligation to contribute to the delicate process of nation building.  Thus, the:
Toils of the press are the outcome of government controls or regulations which may arise from a multiplicity of motives.  They may be fear, a matter of political outlook or national security. But whatever their origin, they are inextricably interwoven with the fabric and the political organisation of the State. They press is a social institution and its function and character will differ according to the political, economic and social structure of the society.

1.2 Definition of Terms
Mass Media/Press
In this presentation, the press and mass media would be used interchangeably. This refers to the channel through which information could be disseminated to the people (audience) who are located at different places and of different background. The channels include: newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, internet, music and films. The press is an element of the mass media that focuses on disseminating news of crises from the National Assembly to the general public through newspapers. That is, radio, television, newspaper, magazine, internet, wire services and any other medium used in the dissemination of information for public consumption. It is the domain of the journalists
Social Media
The terms used to describe the new generation of digital, computerized, or networked information and communication technologies. These can take many different forms, including internet forums, blogs, wikis, podcasts, and picture-, music- and video-sharing. Examples of social media applications are Google Groups, Wikipedia, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Second Liie, Flickr and Twitter among others.
Security
Imobighe (n.d cited in Ajao, 2005) defined security thus:
The freedom for or the absence of those tendencies which could undermine internal cohesion and the corporate existence of the nation and its ability to maintain its vital institutions for the promotion of its core values and socio-political cum economic objectives of the people.” “Internal security”, also, implies “freedom from danger to life and property and the essence of a conducive atmosphere for the people to pursue their legitimate interests within society.

The World Bank reports (1989 & 2009 cited in Okoro, 2013) pointed out that majority of the citizens in sub-Saharan Africa lack adequate knowledge to make informed decisions about political issues. Therefore, the press agenda-setting role would enhance people’s knowledge and raise their level of awareness of issues associated with national and political development. Furthermore, the report stressed that the contents of news sources in most African countries are based upon the ideological interest and orientation of the existing political system or the ruling elites. As a result, press agenda-setting in these developing countries is determined or set by the influential ruling class for the general public. Although the central theme of The World Bank reports was focused on national development and political stability for sub-Saharan Africa, repeated emphasis was placed on the need for a free and vigilant press as a significant and realistic approach to achieving broad-based development objectives. It is against this background that the relevance of the agenda-setting role of the press in Nigeria is critically important and can be clearly measured for effectiveness.
National Security
Security like most concepts in the social sciences does not lend itself to a precise definition. Ogunbanwo (n.d cited in Ajao, 2005) postulated that “security is more than military security or security from external attacks. The non-military dimensions of security should be applied in its broad sense to include economic security, social security-the quality of life, technological security, physical security, legal security and even food security. In the same vein, Nwolise (n.d cited in Ajao, 2005) contended that security refers to “safety from danger or risk, protection from espionage, infiltration, sabotage and theft.
Internal Security
Internal security can be defined as a situation whereby there is freedom from or the absence of those tendencies which could challenge internal peace and harmony and the corporate existence of the nation.

2.1       Communication and Society
Communication as the art of sharing and transmitting information, thoughts, ideas and attitudes from one person to another, provides the very foundation with which human lives are centred on. Human beings have gone beyond the bare physical requirements of food and shelter; they need to communicate with one another, which is necessary for human survival. It is no wonder, therefore, that modern men have built complicated, many-faceted machinery to deliver their messages which are becoming more and more fantastic in their ability to break the physical barriers of our world: such machinery includes radio, television, hi-fi stereo and other recording and reproduction equipment, newspapers, books, telephones, tele-printers, and the most complicated cameras on space vehicles as well as computers, all recording, interpreting, and transmitting multitudes of information which are influencing, inspiring, convincing but also confusing, deceiving, frightening and entertaining us and bending time and space to our will (Olayiwola, 2013).
A society can be defined as a group of people involved in constant social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. It is a form of communication, through which experience is described, shared, modified and preserved. Wilbur Schramm (1954 cited in Olayiwola, 2013) stated that communication is always a part of something. It represents a relationship not only between individuals, but also between relationships. It is the web that binds society together. The importance of communication has been recognized from time immemorial. Communication is basic to all human processes and without it, human beings cannot perform organized group processes that help coordinate their activities in society and eventual interdependence of lives. Communication which is the exchange of ideas, information knowledge and the transmission of meaning is the very essence of a social, economic, or political system.
Studies abound suggesting that communication is so essential in society that man cannot exist as a social entity without it. European experts in the Sociology of Knowledge and Mass Society such as Marx, Tonnies, Simmel, Mannheim, Tarde and Le Bon (n.d cited in Olayiwola, 2013) asserted that society cannot exist without communication and that communication cannot exist without society. Human beings, associations, organizations, societies and the nation-state are all built upon and held together by communications by perceptions, by decisions, by the expectations which people have for one another, by transactions and by their willingness to validate a considerable portion of the expectations by appropriate reciprocal behaviours. It is Communication, that is, the ability to transmit messages and to react to them that makes organizations; hence any thorough-analysis of political organizations or social systems must at least include a consideration of the role of communication. Communication enables a group to think together, to see together and to act together. Daramola (2011) stated:
That the idea of the concept society is based on the fact that human beings live in groups and from there emerge social relationship and interaction. It is arguably right that men live together and share common opinions, values, beliefs, and customs; they also continually interact, respond to one another, and shape their behaviour in relation to a persisting process of action and reaction.

A social relationship therefore exists when individuals or groups possess reciprocal expectations concerning the behaviour so that they tend to act in relatively pattern ways. Society is therefore defined from this perspective as the “web of social relationship, Daramola added.

2.2       Media and Democracy
For greater part of the twentieth century, media in Nigeria was involved in promoting political awareness, encouraging civic engagement, sensitizing citizens to national issues, and shaping public opinions on a variety of political issues. The meaning of the word democracy is best captured in the thoughts of Idowu (2008 cited in Odeyemi, 2010) thus:
In the world of today, democracy has become a popular concept in every contemporary discourse. It is now a word that resonates in people’s minds and springs from their lips as they struggle for freedom and for a better way of life. In its Greek understanding, the term democracy originally referred to the right of the citizens of the Greek City states to participate directly in the act of governance. The word ‘democracy’ is known to have been coined from two Creek words: demos (the people) and kratos (rule) which simply means people’s rule. It is an institution of governance which envisages a popular government as practiced in ancient Greece.

However, the circumstances in a modern State make direct participation of all the people in the government of the state impossible, the concept of democracy still put emphasis on the rule of the people, in that sovereign power is exercised by the people but now indirectly through a system of representation. The people chose their representatives who then govern on their behalf. In a democracy, power resides in the people and belongs to the people. In a democracy, the people own the government, and not government owning the people. A democracy is thus distinguished from a Monarchy (the rule of a Monarch) or Aristocracy (the rule of a privileged class) or an Oligarchy (the rule of a junta).
 Diamond (2008 cited Odeyemi, 2010) offered a similar meaning to the concept of democracy, ‘ at a minimum, democracy is a system of government in which all (or virtually all) adult citizens can choose their leaders and replace their leaders in regular, free, fair, and competitive (multiparty) elections.’
Of the different arms that make up any modern day society, one organ whose importance can never be over emphasized is the mass media. The Mass media have been described as the fourth estate of the realm‘, that is after the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government in any democratic society. The mass media are very important in nation building. Governments can hardly survive without effective use of the mass media.
This is apparently why the third President of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson, while underscoring the importance of the press in the society in one of his speeches stated: “…. were it left for me to choose whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I shall not hesitate a moment to choose the latter” Similarly, President De-Gaulle of France once asked President John F. Kennedy of US; “How can you control your country if you do not control television?” These assertions further underscore the pertinence of the mass media in any society. Governance in itself is communication based. The mass media facilitate the two-way communication process essential in bridging the gap between government and the governed, including the very essential role of ensuring that the basic values and tenets that keep a society together are promoted among the populace (Nwabueze & Ebeze, 2013).
 In the world today, a form of government that continues to enjoy wide spread support and acceptance is democratic system of government. The Nigerian mass media appeared to have found renewed keenness because of its newly found experience of democracy in 1999 (Owen-Ibie, 1999 cited in Olaiya, Apeloko, & Ayeni, 2013). There is information explosion which leads to increase in the value of the mass media of communication around the world.
Over the past decades, the relationship between the media and governments in Nigeria has been a highly controversial, drawing attention from a wide range of communication scholars, social scientists, and independent research institutions. While perspectives and findings differ on the role of the press in the country as well as its relationship with governments, there is a consensus that the concept of governance will not be complete without effective and uncontrolled participation of news sources in disseminating national and political issues. Likewise, democratization in contemporary Nigeria appears unattainable if Nigeria’s stakeholders in urban and rural communities are not fully and actively engaged in the act of governing. The citizens of Nigeria, in particular, must be made to appreciate the importance of participating in and control political coverage, the independence of news sources, national security, the political process and challenging unpopular government decisions and actions. The press should play the crucial function of advocating for citizens’ understanding of government activities, public policies, and national security.
The media all over the globe is regarded as a political instrument and in advanced societies, the mass media are actually an integral part of political life, serving for most people as their major and only link with the government and providing for them the information which they require to make political judgment on the basis of their political attitudes. In every society, the mass media plays important roles in the society or social system. That is why no government can do without the mass media. In addition to providing information about the political process, the mass media can confer status and legitimacy on political leaders and issues. This is known as status conferral function of the mass media. The mass media can also set the political agenda for the society by deciding what political topics the people talk about. The agenda setting function of the mass media is an important aspect of the institutional linkage between the mass media and politics Umechukwu (2001 cited in Tobechukwu, 2007).
It is obvious from the stated argument that the mass media have a lot of influence on politics through the presentation of politically crucial information to vast heterogeneous, transitory and anonymous audiences. Decisions made by media professionals determine what information becomes available to the media audiences and what remains available. By putting stories into perspective and interpreting them, media personnel assign meaning to information and indicate the values by which it ought to be judged. The media also have the power to control much of the raw material needed by political elites and the general public by thinking about the political horizon and planning political action. At times, media professionals can generate political action directly through their own investigations or indirectly through their capacity to stimulate pseudo-events. By creating and sustaining political values, the press are also important tools for political stability and social equilibrium.

2.3       Democratisation
Democratisation on the other hand is said to be a process of making a country or an institution more democratic. That is, moving up the ladder in entrenching democratic norms and values in the polity or system. Ifeanacho and Nwagwu (2009 cited in Odeyemi, 2010) offer a more direct explanation of what democratisation entails:
 Democratization is more appropriately viewed as the institutionalization of democratic principles as part of everyday culture in a society. It finds expression in the channeling of behavioral patterns towards democratic ideals. It permeates all facets of community life from religion through the economy, marriage, family to politics. These institutions legitimize the activities of those who exercise authority. If these institutions are absent militarism might be misconstrued for democratization.

Nigerians have for long aspired for democracy and they have been repeatedly frustrated. For nearly 30 years out of Nigeria’s 56 years of independence from colonial rule, the frustration of Nigerians with shattered democratic aspirations were caused by authoritarian military regimes, which engineered transition to civil rule programmes to gain legitimacy but then systematically subverted this to continue to hold on to power by military fiat (Jega, 2011).
After a long dictatorial darkness, then comes the light. The morning of Saturday May 29, 1999 saw Nigeria return to another experiment at democratic norms and institutions with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the nation‘s armed forces. Ever since, the polity has been awash with different policies, strategies and programmes aimed at consolidating the process, entrench the values of democracy into the system and laying a solid foundation for its sustainability.
In organization of modern day government especially in democratic polity of Nigeria there exist three arms of government namely the executive, the judiciary and the legislature with the media being the fourth estate of the realm. That is the media as an institution that checkmates the excesses of the other three arms. The press remains the fourth estate of the watchdog and the conscience of the nation. It is the organ that informs the public about the activities of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The media also monitor, report the activities of the people and championing the cause of the people.
2.4       The Media and National Security
Pulitzer (cited in Oloyede, 2011 quoted in Nwabueze & Ebeze, 2013) stated that:
There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy. Get all these things out in the open, describe them, ridicule them in the press and sooner or later, public opinion will sweep them away.

Joseph Pulitzer the Hungarian-American newspaper publisher who established and endowed the Pulitzer prizes to honour excellence in journalism (and American literature, music and drama) understood very well the pertinence of the press in any society as a result of which he made the comment.
Nigeria’s  national  security  means  the protection  of  its  resources,  territory,  sovereignty  and  lawful institutions  of  the  country.  The  aim  of  national  security  is  to  secure  the  just  and  equitable  living conditions of the country (Ali, 2013). Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in appreciation of the need for closer co-operation and collaboration among the various security agencies and all other components that make up the Nigerian society stated in March 2001 that:
The concept of national security shall be the aggregation of the security interest of the individuals, communities, ethnic groups, political entities and institutions which inhabit the territory of our   great   country, Nigeria.

The President went further to identify the primary objectives of national security (Wali, 2003 cited in (Ali, 2013) :
To strengthen the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to advance her interest and objectives, to contain instability, control crime, eliminate corruption, enhance genuine development progress and growth, improve the welfare and wellbeing and quality of life of every citizen.

The media is a principal player in the arena of national security. National security has been greatly threatened since independence.  When  Nigeria  attained  independence  in  1960,  the  mass  media orientation  shifted  towards  reinforcing  tribal  and  sectional  loyalties  in  preference  to  national  unity, identity and integration. The media became parochial in their content. They dedicate themselves to the articulation of particular ethnic interest (Udoudo & Asak, 2008 cited in Ali, 2013).  Press reports during this period greatly heightened tension, which created suspicion among the citizenry and almost led to the disintegration of the corporate existence of the country (Udoudo and Asak, 2008 cited in Ali, 2013) noted that:
The news media seemed to have abandoned their core duty of truthfully reporting events, activities and personalities. Instead  they  joined  the  fray,  individual  taking  sides either in  favour  or  against  the government in power.

The press is the domain of the journalists. It is often referred to as the Fourth Estate of the realm. It is expected to be a watchdog on the government. According to Johnson (n.d) cited in Leman, 2015):
The Media must always test the resiliency of the free speech and free press clauses by challenging any attempt to restrict their coverage of political activities and the society and by arguing passionately that the public has a right to know. This is as it should be, since a free press, even one that occasionally exceeds bounds of good taste is essential to the preservation of a democratic society.

The Journalist professionally has the responsibility for the collection, collation and publication of news. A direct result of this role is that they also influence public opinion as well as setting agenda for public action. Indeed, they galvanize the society towards identified public goals. In the case of Nigeria, the media played the crucial role in mobilizing the citizenry toward the national goal of establishing a democratic society even at the risk of their lives. The journalist occupies a critical position in any media organization against the background of his professional responsibility. This role is more vividly understood when it is realized that the mass media offer the widest and fastest means of disseminating information. They influence opinion formation, perception building and social mediation. They act as a mirror with which the society can view itself while also influencing social realities. Indeed, they provide a free market for contending groups to express opinions or canvass support especially in a multi-party democracy like Nigeria. In this regard, it should be noted that the contest for dominance is highly intense and the journalist, more often, determines which opinion predominates (Leman, 2015).
Against the stated background, the journalists exercise enormous influence on· the nature and character of information disseminated to the electorate. Operating as gatekeepers, the journalists through their reportage and analysis of contemporary political events and personalities define public perception concerning those events. Indeed, they set national political agenda as well as guiding public understanding of political issues.
The point has been made that the mass media are crucial in the achievement of society-wide objectives, be it in the area of social, health, infrastructural, political, educational or security development. The mass media constitute one of the most important institutions of socialization and in fact, the major cultural industry responsible for the distribution of ideas in the Nigerian society Pate (2011 cited in Nwabueze and Ebeze, 2013).
Other institutions of socialization such as the church, family, educational institutions, political establishments etc. basically play reinforcement roles to the mass media by performing their separate functions in the society. This shows that the mass media impact on the society and determine dominant perceptions, values and attitude.
The surveillance and correlation functions of the media are at the core of mobilization against acts of insecurity. The surveillance role says the media provide information to the society which is used in opinion moulding and attitude adoption. The correlation role says the media relate news and various happenings in the society to the individuals’ life and environment. This is done through interpretation and explanation of the implications of happenings on the life and environment of the masses, including implications of acts that breed insecurity on the society. It is expected that through effective information, the society would gradually turn against such acts.

2.5       National Security
For decades, the term national security has meant by and large military security. This meaning has increasingly been controversial, challenged and generates debate. The question of national security is not merely a question of the Army and Navy. There is the need to take into cognizance the nation’s whole potential for war, our mines, industry, manpower, research, and all the activities that go into the normal civilian life.
Robert McNamara in his book ‘The Essence of Security’ (1968 cited in Ajao, 2015) posited that:
In a modernizing society, security means development. Security is not military force, though it may involve it. Security is not military activity though it may include it. Security is development and without development there can be no security.

 An eminent Political Scientist Arnold Wolfers (n.d cited in Olayiwola, 2013) in his 1962 essay “National Security as an Ambiguous Symbol”, wrote of the phrases “national security” and “national interest”, “They may not mean the same things to different people. They may not have any precise meaning at all.
In part, this ambiguity came from the inherent subjectivity in determining the threats to any nation’s security. More recently, the British Scholar, Barry Buzan, has argued that another reason national security remains a “weekly conceptualized, ambiguously defined, but politically powerful concept” is that “for the practitioners of state policy, compelling reasons exist for maintaining its symbolic ambiguity…An undefined notion of national security offers scope for power-maximizing strategies of political and military elites, because of the considerable leverage over domestic affairs which can be obtained by invoking it (Olayiwola, 2013).
Maier (1990 cited in Olayiwola, 2013) stated that:
National security ….is best defined as the capacity to control those domestic and foreign conditions that the public opinion of a given community believes necessary to enjoy its own self-determination or autonomy, prosperity and well-being.

It is certain that without a safe and secure environment, there can be neither sustainable, poverty reducing economic and social development nor political development. As a result, the press need to cover all the aspects of security mentioned above in their reportage and coverage.
In the same vein, Olayiwola (2013) stated that there are other key issues relating to sound security coverage that the media need to be aware of. They include the following:
  1. Security as a public good;
  2. Comprehensive approach to security sector transformation;
  3. Coherent external interventions;
  4. Commitment of national leadership to a reform process;
  5. Local ownership and capacity;
  6. Confidence building measures; and
  7. Importance of a long-term perspective, to mention just a few.
He added that security sector and security community are also to be covered. The totality of the actors that affect the security of the state and its population constitutes the “security community”. The official actors within the security community comprise the “security sector”.
Security sector can be divided into 3 main groupings:
  1. Organizations authorized to use force;
  2. Civil management and oversight bodies;
  3. Justice and law enforcement institutions.
Non-statutory security force institutions and non-statutory civil society bodies are non-statutory groups of actors that affect the ability of the state to create a safe and secure environment and thus they are part of the security community.
  1. Organizations authorized to use force - armed forces; police, paramilitary forces; gendarmeries; intelligence services (including both military and civilian agencies); secret services; coast guards; border guards; customs authorities; reserve or local security units (civil defense forces, national guards, presidential guards, militias, etc.
  2. Civil management and oversight bodies - the President, Prime ministers; national security advisory bodies; legislature and legislative select committees, ministries of defense, internal affairs, foreign affairs; customary and traditional authorities, financial management bodies (finance ministries, budget offices, financial audit and planning units); and statutory civil society organizations (civilian review boards and public complaints commissions).
  3. Justice and law enforcement institutions - judiciary; justice ministries; prisons; criminal investigation and prosecution services; human rights commissions and ombudsmen; correctional services; customary and traditional justice systems.
  4. Non-statutory security force institutions - liberation armies, guerrilla armies, traditional militias, political party militias, private security companies.
  5. Non-statutory civil society bodies such as professional organizations, including trade unions; research/policy analysis organizations; advocacy organizations; the media and religious organizations; nongovernment organizations, concerned with public matters and insecurity.



2.6       Crime
There is no society on earth that is crime free. Crime refers to an anti-social act or a failure/refusal to live up to the standard of conduct deemed binding by the rest of the community. Crime also refers to an act or omission which attracts legal punishment. It is an act which is against the law in any society. Incessant crime breeds insecurity in any society. Violent conflicts which consist of disagreements, clash, collision, or struggle most often constitute crime and all these contribute in creating a state of insecurity in a society if left unchecked. If national security is the freedom of a national territory and its people from want, threat, anxiety and dangers that are internally or externally motivated, then insecurity in a nation refers to acts that are capable of negating the freedom or security in a society. These acts which breed insecurity most often constitute crime (Nwabueze & Ebeze, 2013).
Nwabueze & Ebeze (2013) stated further that the state of insecurity in Nigeria is made obvious by the alarming trend of anti-social acts prevalent in the nation which in the not-so-distant past, were unthinkable and could not be associated with the country. Acts of terrorism by the Boko Haram sect, incidents of kidnapping in the South-East and South-South parts of the country, including agitations by militants in the Niger Delta have become “brands” of crime that have given a negative identity to Nigeria. This is in addition to other conventional crimes - theft, arson, violent ethno-religious conflicts etc. - which the law enforcement agents battle daily. These acts particularly those that involve threat to life have contributed in creating an alarming state of insecurity in some parts of the country.
Among the most serious social problems facing us today is the dangerous rise or high incidence of armed robbery, kidnapping, Niger Delta threats, Boko Haram insurgency and other violent crimes across the country.  In fact, armed robbery has become so rampant that no day passes without an incident of armed robbery or other violent crimes reported in our national newspapers in some parts of the country. Thus, it seems that the audacity of the armed robbers, kidnappers, rapists and other criminal activities increase daily and this certainly poses a clear and imminent danger to the life and property of our citizens as well as aggravates other social problems including anxiety and a feeling of general insecurity.  It is therefore clear that within our society are some hard core criminal elements that through their own anti-social behaviours constitute a menace to our society and demonstrate their presence by intimidating the citizens and threatening their lives and property. A good example of security lapses in Nigeria which is a security threat to the whole nation, is that of a single person who led a dreaded kidnap gang, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a. Evans, who held the entire country to ransom for years. He has been on the police wanted list for a long time. According to Vanguard report of Sunday July 16, 2017, it was stated that Evans was once arrested for armed robbery in Lagos, but his case was transferred to Anambra where he was later released. He has been in crime for a long time and together with members of his gang, they have coordinated several bank robberies, across the country. He has visas to several countries across the globe and can easily leave the country after every operation. Investigations revealed that Evans has been able to evade arrest due to his ability to change his identity. Police operatives who have been trailing him over time could not actually say what he truly looks like. It was also gathered that, aside his ability to change his identity, Evans was reported to be conversant with modern police tracking devices.
A member of police team assigned to trail the dreaded kingpin officially for the past three years (name withheld) told Crime Guard that Evans evaded arrest several times because he thinks faster than the police. According to the source; “he is an expert in this business. He does his homework properly by knowing the financial worth of his victims before going after them and after abducting them, he kept them in obscure apartments within Lagos State, where no one could locate them and when he does his negotiations, he used mobile phones that are not traceable and does not reveal locations of the caller. Vanguard explained that security operatives are suspecting that Evans may have been using satellite phones during his negotiations with relatives of the victims and this has proved difficult for security operatives to track the kingpin.
Other potent threats to Nigeria’s internal security are: political instability, ethnicity and ethnic militancy, chieftaincy disputes, boundary disputes/communal clashes, restiveness in the oil-producing areas, religious intolerance, students’ unrest, labour unrest, economic sabotage, trans-border banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes, smuggling, political violence, overpopulation,(demographic factor), corruption, and unemployment among others (Ajao, 2005).

2.6.1    Causes of Crime
Crimes have many varied causes and that the study of contemporary literature on the causes of crimes takes one straight to the study of other disciplines such an anthropology, psychiatry, social psychology, sociology and even history. However, the concern about crime has been expressed in two principal forms First, criminologists have concentrated on the study of the processes by which persons become criminals and, have developed theories of criminality.  Secondly, criminologists have also studied the relation of crime rates to variations in culture and social organisation and have equally developed theories of crime. Thus, through the efforts of criminologists specific conclusions about crime have been arrived at. These are that theories of criminality focus on the issue of social learning and personality development while theories about the distribution of crime rates focus on social systems and are consequently closely related to the general theories of social structure. He however stated that even though the concept of crime is usually difficult to analyse in the abstract, one factor remains obvious in any discussion of crime.  And that is, that crime can be as complex as society itself. Hence, the former United States Attorney-General, Mr. Ramsay Clark said that crime reflects the character of a people (Gambo, 2008).

All those qualities in life that make us what we are determine our capacity to commit crime Heredity and environment, the interaction of individual and society, the totality of human nature and human experience’’ – these are elemental origins of crime.

In Nigeria, however, among the fundamental causes of high crime rate are the general disintegration of the Nigerian family system, and the breakdown of our social services in the area of education and the national economy. Gambo highlighted the family, education and economic crisis as major causes of crime in our society. He explained these factors as follows:

The Family
There is no doubt that the traditional Nigerian family under the pressure of modernisation and economic hardships has lost some of its social control mechanisms along with its age-honoured solidarity.  In fact, once upon a time the family used to be a source of cohesion, provided a form of social security and acted as the basic unit of economic activities for its members. Today, all these are being threatened and the traditional family itself is increasingly disrupted by social forces beyond its control.  The forces here include increase in rural to urban migration of our citizens, urbanisation and the gradual modernisation of the Nigerian society. There is need to take cognizance of the fact that our time-honoured traditional family is under stress as a result of the fact that more is demanded of the family than it can presently reasonably cope with.


Education
Our present system of education is facing a nation-wide revolt and general indictment. The policy of producing young men and women without any identifiable skills or specific profession after many years from primary to tertiary institution has worsen our ‘graduate’ and general unemployment problems.  Addressing this issue in his booklet, Eshalomi (n.d cited in Gambo, 2008) said that:
With due regard to all the sacrifices and achievements in the educational sector, experience over the years question seriously the relevance of the Nigerian educational system to the aspiration and the problems of individuals and society.

The logical consequence of our failed system of education is the creation of a situation of unemployable ‘educated’ Nigerians who sooner or later constitute national hazards and crime-prone citizens.
In a similar vein, the Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki, on July 15, 2017 at the second day of the 21st convocation ceremony of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, stated that universities in the country were not established for jobs creation, but to advance learning, promote research and build character of students. The governor said that most universities had deviated from their primary aim of promoting research and development and concentrated on having too many non-academic staff. “Universities should through investment, efficient management of funds, partnership with the private and government sectors, grants from international bodies and alumni association, thrive to be self-sustaining,’’ he said. The governor tasked the nation’s university authorities to engage in publication of journals, innovations and technology advancement of students to make them relevant in the present world of ICTs.
Economic Crisis
The late General Murtala Mohammed cited in Gambo (2008) stated that:

God Almighty had endowed Nigeria with the human and natural resources to make it a wealthy nation.  It is we, the people that have to make the country great by the way we conduct our private and public affairs.

Today, our economy is in state of chaos, Nigeria is importing food and other materials called essential commodities. There is a high level of unemployment and there are retrenchment exercises across the country in order to enable the government cope with the situation. In his booklet, Dr. Eshalomi said that, “The unemployment in any society serve as ready catalyst for any kind of revolution apart from fathering such social distaste as robbery, rioting and civil disobedience.” There are many factors responsible for our present economic problems.  However, the most conspicuous remains our neglect of agriculture and rely majorly on revenue from crude oil. Today, the price of oil is reducing gradually across the globe.  Among the most disturbing of these social problems is the rise in crime rate in many of our rural and urban centres.

2.7       Culture
In every culture, there are several conceptions of what is good and desirable, that people should strive to attain. It is the standard by which action, in general, should be elevated. Since culture varies from place to place, it is observed that there are some central l values that culturally trained individuals are expected to uphold in an organized society and there values define what has been called cultural integrity. They are values that directly bear on the manner in which work is performed and interaction takes place. These values include values such as honesty, objectivity, fairness, trust, respect, openness, association, and responsibility. Anybody that lacks one or more of the stated criteria is liable to misbehave and commit crime. A good culture can never be in favour of any criminal act. Cultured people are those who can adequately transmit same to the next generation.
Ohiagu (2010) in her study of Indigenous Societies and Cultural Globalization in the 21st Century in Nigeria discovered that to an extent, the media have become a model of positive lifestyles since the ways we dress, eat, or talk are often a reflection of the media. However, a society that strongly relies on computer-mediated communication cannot serve as proper vehicles for the transmission of cultural values, and for the transmission of cultural values in general. A number of authors have argued that transmission of cultural values requires real-world settings in which people engage in face-to-face interaction. This, indeed, seems to be the feeling of many ideal families throughout the world.
Ohiagu (2010) in her study also discovered that the Internet, Global System of Mobile Telecommunication (GSM), and Satellite Communication (cable TV networks) are perhaps the most influential of all Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in modern digital society. The outcome of the study is that the impact of ICTs on the Nigerian people has both a positive and a negative thrust. While these technologies have the potential of eroding local cultures even to the point of threatening their extinction, yet they equally provide a podium for global societies and cultures (Nigerian people and culture inclusive) to meet and interact. The resultant globalization of world cultures or global culture, of course, is not without inherent problems of hierarchy, domination by the stronger kingdoms and subservience of the weaker kingdoms, etc. After all, when Marshall McLuhan prophesied that the world was quickly turning into a global village, he did not suggest or insinuate the emergence of a village without village heads, elders, chiefs, titled men and influential few. So the emerging global village orchestrated by ICTs is not a village constituted of equals. The information and communication powerful nations have accordingly taken the positions of village heads, elders, Chiefs, titled men and influential few as the case may be. She added that although there are critical negative pressures exerted by ICTs on the Nigerian society, the effect of these technologies on the people's lifestyles is mainly positive oriented. This study submits that the way forward is not in limiting the people's focus on these noxious dimensions of globalization but in concentrating on its potentials. The research design used was survey which allowed issues to be observed directly from human specimens. Consequently, the above conclusions were drawn from the findings extracted from real life experiences rather than on assumptions or theoretical ideas. The research findings revealed that the Information and Communication Technologies have a double edged impact on the Nigerian people and culture. On one hand, there is the detrimental effect of the local cultures being overshadowed by the more dominant or overriding cultures of the western society perhaps leading to the disappearance of some traditional values. On the other hand, these technologies have yielded a platform or stage upon which the Nigerian scripts are acted out or showcased globally as in a theatre room. The technologies, despite their harmful potentials, thus empower the Nigerian society to encounter and be encountered by other societies and cultures and thus be developed and enriched.

2.8       Police and National Security
The Nigeria Police Force derives its legitimacy from Section 214 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, which states that:
There shall be a Police Force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigerian Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section, no other Police Force shall be established for the federation or any part thereof. The organogram of the Police Force in Nigeria stretches from the Inspector-General of Police to the Constable.

Generally, the Police are charged with very many difficult duties which relate mainly to the maintenance of law and order and the security of the State.  Gambo (2008) stated that:

These duties are imposed on them by law and neglect or refusal to perform them constitutes an offence. Stated generally, these duties include the prevention and detection of crimes, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of property and the enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged. Other functions of the Police include performance of such military duties within or outside Nigeria as may be required of them, traffic regulation, procession control, quelling disturbances, helping to find lost articles or assisting to trace missing persons.

Basically, what all these functions indicate is that simply stated, “Police business is people business and primarily entails face to face relationships between the Police and the people they deal with, such relationships run the gamut from arrest of the ‘town drunk’ to the delivery of a baby in the back seat of a patrol car, Gambo added.
Anderson (n.d cited in Ajao, 2005) in his re-statement of these roles clearly asserted that the strength or weakness of any nation-state is reflected in its Police Force. Essentially, the police is designed and organised to combat the numerous threats to internal security. It is also to provide an orderly and conducive atmosphere for social growth and development of our society. Gambo emphasised further that Police work is complex and the demands upon the Police force sometimes seem contradictory.  Functionally, the Police force is both a social institution designed to combat crime as well as an instrument of social control.  He stated that:
Society’s and the Policeman’s attempt to understand each other are complicated by the fact that there is never one public, but many, and all the differing values and, views about crime and the role of the Police.

It has never been easy to hold the balance between liberty and safety.  “Those who hold power in society delegate to the Police the task of enforcing the law by a means which, if they are to be effective, often infringe the very principles that the law protects.”  Thus, relationship between the Police and the public cannot be said to be cordial. And the principal reason for this inadequate knowledge by some members of the Public including the mass media about the functions of the Police force in general and the dilemma of individual Police officers in the course of their duties, he stated.

This brings us to discuss the issue of the place of the Police in government Critchley (n.d cited in Gambo, 2008) said that:

Total freedom is anarchy and total order is tyranny’’.  The Police, who represent the collective interests of the community, are the agency which holds the balance somewhere between. Their standing is a rough index of society’s own attitude towards the regulation of civilised living, regard for the Police, which should not of course be uncritical, is regard for law and order.

Being the most viable symbol of governmental authority, the Police constitute the point of attack or criticism of the government. And in extreme cases, once the edifice of the Police is discredited or in disarray, the government itself is exposed. This delicate position of the Police force is what is not thoroughly understand or appreciated by the mass media.  The mass media will serve this nation much better if they begin to look at Police work as the paradox that it really is “Police action may be directed either to the promotion of personal freedom or to its eclipses,” it all depends upon the directives of the political authorities and the national conditions. Hence, the functions of the Police in any society and the capacity of the Police to combat crimes hang in a precarious balance between the people’s need for liberty and the people’s need for safety, Gambo (2008) added.

2.9       The Police and the Media
The Police whose operations principally deal with the maintenance of law and order on behalf of the public are inevitably placed in a position where close co-operation with the media is imperative in combating crime. Consequently, all previous references as a form of media in this presentation have emphasized the principal function of the media as a form of a nationally early warning system, or a watch-dog capable of blowing the whistle to call attention to serious national issues.  This implies a clear recognition of the fact that the media have important roles to play in society.  The power of the media to decide what the people should read or see has never been in doubt.  What has been the centre of controversy here and in other countries is the capacity of those in whose hands reside such enormous powers to use that power judiciously and in public interest.  Thus, media professionals who have in their hands this powerful instrument either to do good or ill have the options either to serve the nation or indulge in self-aggrandizement.  Their functions as well as their relations to the police require a capacity for taking wise decisions based on objectivity, relevance, and mature considerations of all the issues at stake. Information they say is power, the media professionals who wield this power are constantly prevailed upon to use it cautiously, judiciously, and selectively always bearing in mind the consequences of their action (Gambo, 2008). He added that what make a good journalist or mass media professionals are in essence the same qualities that point to the direction of how media could assist in combating crime.  First, all mass media professionals agree that paramount in the make-up of a journalist is a deep and genuine interest in people and public interests.  The profession’s focus is on issue that benefit the general public and uphold fairness, justice and national unity and international co-operation.

2.9.1    Establishment of the Press
The press is often referred to as the Fourth Estate of the realm. By this term we refer to the newspaper press. The term goes back to the early days of the British Parliament, with its three estates of man; Lords Spiritual, Lords Temporal, and ‘Commons’. The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the “realm” wrote Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay. Therefore, journalists are members of Fourth Estate of the Realm.  It is expected to be a watchdog on the government.
Section 39 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 dwells on the right to freedom of expression and of the press. Section 1 states Inter-alia: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference”. Section (2) states without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium of dissemination of ideas, information and opinions.
However, Section 45 deals with restriction on the derogation from fundamental rights. Sub-section 1 of section 45 highlights therefore among others that nothing in Section 39 (Right to freedom of expression and of the Press) of the Constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society:
a)      In the interest of decency, public safety, public order, public morality or public health;
b)      For the purpose of protecting their rights and freedom of other persons.
Since the major duties of the Press, therefore are to inform, educate, and to entertain, it is suggestive that the torts of slander and libel limit the Press while journalists are expected to perform their duties within the ambit of constitutional provisions and laid down rules and regulations.

2.9.2    Establishment of the State
Section 2 (1) of the 1999 Constitution highlights the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state. Based on the foregoing, a working relationship central to the maintenance of national security ought to be forged between the press and the state. It is given that, Police is one of the organs of the State which is meant to carry out security functions necessary for the preservation and maintenance of peace, order and promotion of the welfare of the society.
It is also paramount to mention that, there is no society in the world whether advanced or developing that is crime free. There are violent crimes such as armed robbery and murder committed daily in both technologically advanced and developing countries of the world. The attitude of journalists in Western countries in reporting crimes and other sensitive security issues is different compared with their Nigerian counterparts. While journalists in other countries play down on reporting criminal cases in their countries because of the effects on the credibility of governments, etc, some journalists in our environment over-dramatize crime and other sensitive security issues with attendant negative consequence on government (Ajao, 2015).
It should be recalled that South Africa used to have the highest reported cases of armed robbery in the world before the release of ex-president Nelson Mandela from prison, yet, the Press did not blow the situation out of proportion because of the possible crippling effect on the South African economy. Hence foreign investors flooded South Africa and that economy was better for it.
Similarly, during the war in Afghanistan about three years ago, the United States Army bombed U.S. citizens and interests in error. As it did during the Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East but these were played down by the western press for the sake of security, national defence, public morality and public order. Ajao (2005) stated that the press should allow Section 45 of the Constitution to regulate our conduct, the better for us as stakeholders in the security of this nation.



2.10     Roles of the Media
In order to appreciate the relationship between the mass media and democracy, it should be noted that the most important ingredient of democratic practice is communicating ideas in order to attract electorates support. It is this nature of democracy that has thrown up critical challenges for gentle men of the press.
Democracy necessarily involves contending efforts by politicians to dominate the market of public opinion. The challenges of this to the journalists are the need to be equitable and balanced in the editorial management of news from diverse groups as well as the space allotted such news materials. This is even more during election when candidates of different political parties canvas for peoples votes. Leman (2015) contended that:
A major feature of any democracy is the electoral process/ elections. It is the period in which the voters exercise their sovereignty through the power to vote. Election is therefore a tool for regeneration, rejuvenation and reinvigoration of the entire democratic system. It is thus important for the dynamic interaction within the political system. The role of the journalist within the system, especially against the background of his professional responsibility, cannot be overemphasized. Apart from mediating between the contestants to political offices through fair reporting and space allocation, the journalist also influences the available choices of candidates to the voters. In essence, the journalist is highly influential in the process of the people deciding on whom to vote for in the election.

It is in appreciation of the foregoing that there has been a universal agreement that the journalist must be properly guided especially in the reportage of elections. Elections, it should be noted, are not ordinary events. Elections are normally conducted within the framework of an Electoral Law. The election law provides the foundation for other activities, including news reports, involving the electoral process. Several regulatory and professional bodies, taking a cue from the Electoral law, always introduce guidelines to guide many activities including media reportage of the election and the electoral process, Leman added.
Leman stated that the Nigeria Union of Journalists and other organizations such as the Nigerian Press Organization, the National Broadcasting Commission, and the Guild of Editors have always agreed on strict guidelines for journalists covering the election. This is not peculiar to Nigeria. Indeed, it is a universal practice in all democratic countries.
Guidelines on election for the mass media underscore the universal appreciation of the important role of the journalist as news managers through whose eyes the average reader or listener sees events. The point of departure of most election guidelines is the acknowledgement of the professional skill and competence of the journalist. The Guides, however, specify the legal framework under which the reportage of election news will take place. In addition, given the highly sensitive nature of elections and its importance especially in a. multi-party democracy and multi- ethnic polity such as Nigeria, the election Guide seeks to provide very detailed and specific direction to journalists and media practitioners who have a responsibility to report on the election.
Press coverage and reportage of security sector transformation must be set within this broader international picture. Since conflict and insecurity themselves have been regionalized and globalised, regional and global collective security mechanisms being strengthened to counteract them should be covered and reported as well. The Nigeria press rightly turned attention to the education of the citizenry as well as informing them about the government activities immediately after independence. The misdeed, excesses and inadequacies of the Nigerian political elites were adequately x-rayed with the result that Nigerians witnessed true democracy. Unfortunately, this patriotic posture of the media was misinterpreted as rabid opposition by the Nigerian political elites. The Nigeria Press operates within the prevailing Nigerian society which is largely illiterate and gullible. So each time Nigerian political elite runs foul of normal norms, good behaviour, good reputation and character, and if the Nigerian press scoop on same, s/he plays the ethnic card. Hence such phrases like Lagos/Ibadan axis press; Lagos Press, Ngbati Press and south west press crept into the political elite’s consciousness. Never has it been in the character of Nigerian political elites to take criticism in good faith (Olayiwola, 2013).
Nigeria is an environment where journalists work without secure tenure of office, adequate remuneration and conducive atmosphere dominated by half baked democrats among others; and where media practitioners are kidnapped, assaulted, insulted and/or even killed. There are also, issues of ownership and control of the mass media, “who pays the piper, dictates the tune”, freedom of the press or lack of it, ethnicity, religion, economic factors, the political system, social factors, infrastructures, transportation, circulation, accommodation, medication, remuneration, working tools, security, etc.
Between 1985 and 1999, the Nigerian media more than any other institutions in this country put everything they had on the line for the survival of this country and enthronement of democracy. But for the Nigerian Press, Babangida would not have stepped aside in 1993 as the politicians including those in the winning party compromised their victory and reputation for ministerial appointments and other perquisites/ pecks of offices. The Nigerian media sustained June 12 issue, when Chief Abiola won the Presidential Elections, but military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election. The media did this more than any other body or organization.
The history of the Nigerian press is one of active involvement in the political process. During the colonial period, the press served as a medium of sustained public debate and political protest, an uncompromising advocate of administrative and political reforms, and a seething critic of the excesses of the colonial order. By its political activities, the press not only stimulated the emergence of nationalist movements but also played a prominent role in the constitutional development of modern Nigeria. In fact, the press was among the major weapons used by the nationalist leadership to gain and consolidate political power and governmental control Bamiduro (1985 cited in Olayiwola, 2013).
Olayiwola (2013) stated that the press served, throughout the life-span of the First Republic, as an important and indispensable medium of political communication between and among the various political parties and governments. In this respect, the press reflected the diversity of thoughts and feelings as well as created and mirrored public opinion on many fundamental political issues of the time.
Olayiwola added that:
Nigeria’s vibrant media played an influential role in the struggles over democratization and a reformed polity in these years. Defying censorship laws, closure of media houses, detention and abduction of journalists and the mysterious disappearance of key opposition figures, a section of the media, drawing on a protest motif dating back to the colonial days, carries the struggle against the monumentally corrupt military class to a newpitch.

Olukotun (2002 cited in Olayiwola, 2013) also noted that:
Sustained security siege on the opposition media and the outright closure and proscription of newspapers, forced a section of the media to develop an underground strategy to stay in business and to struggle against the dictatorship. This was a notable departure in state-media relations and involved a hit and run operative style, in which journalists operating from hideouts continued to publish critical journals in defiance of the state.

2.10.1  The Responsibilities of the Media
Gambo (2008) stated and explained that the responsibilities of the media in its bid to combat crimes as follow: exchange of information, Education or Public Enlightenment, social responsibilities and media as translators.


2.10.2  Exchange of Information
The principal responsibility of the media is to serve as a vehicle for conveying or exchanging of information or ideas. And, if there is one area where public policy and media responsibility coverage at the moment it should be in the national efforts to combat crimes.  So far what is becoming clear is that both the government and the media need each other as agents in service to the general public. And it is equally important to note that the inter-relationship between government and the media has many dimensions beginning with their mutual understanding of the people’s right to know about their government or the government’s obligation to keep the people informed, and the role of the media in the governing process. Specifically, the media’s service in combating crime can be achieved through the following ways (Gambo, 2008).

2.10.3  Education or Public Enlightenment
The mass media of communication are social institutions that serve the society by gathering, writing, and distributing the news of the day.  They take their character from the nation’s political, social, and economic institutions, offering information and entertainment to the general public.  The mass media have the whole people as an audience and this makes their social and strategic importance apparent in any country. Consequently, the media being so strategically located in the scheme of things in society could and should play a central role in the education of the general public. And as part of its public enlightenment exercise the media in Nigeria should engage in the process of informing the public about the evil consequences of crime.  The media, too, are capable and centrally placed to convey information on crime prevention as well as encourage a social atmosphere that would enable the government to introduce programmes affecting attitudinal changes and orientation towards combating crimes.  But of central importance is for the media to inform the public of the efforts of the government towards crime control through the instrumentality of the Police and other security agents.  Public co-operation with the police and public understanding of the functions of the police would go a long way to help in combating crime and it is incumbent upon all citizens including people in the media to encourage a harmonious relationship between the Police and the people of Nigeria.  Bedevilled as we are by the problems of crimes and criminals, the essential role of the mass media in avoiding sensational publication of bias prejudice against law enforcement agents seems crucial and timely. Since the “ability of the Police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence,” the media should consider as part of its social responsibilities, the creation of an atmosphere conducive to Police and public co-operation (Gambo, 2008). We believe that any situation that encourages respect for the Police and other law enforcement agents goes a long way in assisting in the battle against crimes, Gambo stated.  As Critchley (n.d cited in Gambo, 2008) said:
Everything that can heighten in any degree, respectability of the office of the constable, adds to the security of the State and the safety of the life and property of every individual.

Today, this country needs a situation that would result in popular support for the Police and other law enforcement agents without doing damage to their effectiveness, and the media as social institution with functions centrally located in the network of social relation-ships, ranking very high in any arrangement of institutions according to social importance cannot afford to neglect this duty. It can be done because the media accomplish their influence by selecting and disseminating materials which enter into the mind of the masses of the people, and can serve as an effective instrument of social action and social control, added (Gambo, 2008).

2.11     Social Responsibilities
Among the social responsibilities of the media is to observe the rule of objectivity and exercise a measure of maturity in news-writing. Let the priorities of the media reflect the realities of the society it serves. And this results in the constant complaint of the media professionals about the Police refusal to give information to the press.  This stems from lack of understanding of the dilemma of the Police in society. No Police can cope with all the deficiencies of the society, and the limitations of the Police as an institution must be clearly recognised by the media in order to get the true picture of media-police relations. The Police by the nature of their function cannot give information based on rumours to the press.  Equally, once an offence is committed and detected, the Police are not in the position to give detailed information until the investigative processes have been duly completed. In several cases, the issue may involve both the judiciary, prisons or other government agencies and the Police cannot unilaterally inform the press until all the intricacies of the case are disposed of in the interest of justice and fairness.  Our mass media professionals must therefore learn to be patient as well as careful in reporting news. They should discuss, and write maturely in order to avoid damaging the image of the Police which by its nature represents both the government and the country in the public eyes. The media must develop new attitudes towards objectivity and by so doing they will be assisting in the effort of the national development as well as orderly social change, to do this requires editorial restraint and subject balance. The history of the relationship between the media and the governments is one of sporadic anomalies, and the growing tendency for governments to take crucial decisions which underpin the structure of information industries stem from these anomalies.  As Napoleon cited in Gambo (2008) said that “three hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”

Social Responsibility of the Media involves:
  1.  Safe guarding the rights of the individual by serving as a watchdog against government.
  2.  Maintaining its own self-sufficiency so as to be free from the pressure of special interests.
  3. Servicing the political system by providing information, discussion and debate on public affairs.
  4. Enlightening the public so as to make it capable of self-government.
  5. Servicing the economic system primarily by bringing together the buyers and sellers of goods and services through the medium of advertising.
  6. Providing entertainment.
These elements represent an expansion of the functional model propounded by Harold Lasswell in 1948. Lasswell had stated that the functions of the press in any society or country are surveillance of the environment, correlation of the components of society in responding to the environment, and the transmission of the social heritage.

2.12     Objectivity and Fairness in Reporting
As much as the roles of the state, police and press are complementary. A police officer investigating a crime covers much of the same ground as reporter. The officer is interested in who was involved, what happened, where and when, why and how it happened? These details are needed to complete the official report of crime and reporter needs them for his story. There should not be expression of bias and bitterness in reporting crime news to the public because of the press’ functions of entertaining, informing and educating the society. Meanwhile, there is the need for objectivity and fairness in informing, educating and reporting crime news in the country. Objective reportage of crime news should be done taking into consideration the overall security implications. There is no doubt that unethical reportage of issues creates a sense of insecurity on citizens and non-Nigerian residents in and outside the country. It scares away investors from Nigeria. It also causes a lot of embarrassment to the government and Nigeria’s foreign missions.
Journalists who have a stake in the security and survival of this country are advised to cross-check their facts and figures. This singular action would save the press and its various agents from unnecessary embarrassment. It can never be in the interest of any entity in the society for the press to suppress crime news but the press should apply objectivity and fairness in reporting such news. This will surely promote professionalism and reduce the present level of criticism of journalism in the country.

2.12.1  Media as Translators
It is one of the major functions of the media to translate our society and ways of life to the global world in a way that would convince the audience about who we are. The ways the press use language to express concepts have lasting impact in the understanding of the people. Gambo (2008) stated that:

All media are active metaphors in their power to translate experience into new forms” Social order requires that our social and political institutions to be able to regenerate the society it serves and Nigerian media is no exception. Hence, anybody who could think that the media has the same function in America, and Russia or in France and China is not in touch with reality. ‘The press’ Mcluhan said, is a group of confessional form that provides communal participation. It can ‘colour’ events by using them or by not using them.

2.12.2  The Use of Social Media in Crime Prevention
The most effective law enforcement agencies recognize and promote partnerships with their citizens to prevent crime. Citizens who are engaged and empowered to be responsible for their communities are valuable assets to the work of any security department. As the popularity of social media soars, these tools provide opportunities for law enforcement agencies to effectively and proactively reach out, communicate and connect with citizens and promote crime prevention in their communities.
Social networking is a platform of online sites that focus on building relationships among people who may share the same interest or activities. It provides a way for users to interact over the Internet. Users are often identified by their profiles, which can consist of photos and basic information, such as location, likes and dislikes, as well as friends and family. Well-known sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Friendster have taken social networking to a new level. In addition to the convenience of being able to access these websites from a computer, there are also applications on mobile devices that make it easy to access social applications anywhere and anytime.
The primary function of social media is, of course, is to socialize. Social media has far exceeded its original design, serving a multitude of other roles in our society since its inception. From contests and advertisements to breaking news and raising awareness, these platforms are the most efficient and effective means of communication in the digital age.
Social networks are now being used to support criminal investigations and defenders of the law. It has grown to become one of the most influential communication channels in human history. Law enforcement agencies are certainly not exempted from the draw of social content. There are a number of ways that it plays a role in preventing crimes and solving crimes, ensuring safety of the citizenry, as well as enhancing the reputation of law enforcement outfit online. That is, Facebook, twitter, Imo, Whatsapp, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Skype, Snap Chat and a variety of other networks are working for the police. Law enforcement agencies join the world of social networking and increasingly takes advantage of data that the platforms provide their users (Hughes, 2014). In addition, officers are attending trainings to sharpen their social media techniques, and detailed policies and procedures are being developed nationwide. This changes will standardized the ways in which law enforcement officials utilise their own accounts as well as how they employ the platform for investigative purposes. Websites and social media pages provide excellent platforms for posting crime prevention tips. These tips can reinforce crime prevention activities taking place at any particular period of time. The pertinence of citizen’s journalism in combating crime was played out in the brutal murder of four students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORTH) at Aluu, a community in Rivers State Nigeria. The recording of the clubbing and burning to death of the four boys was uploaded on the internet and in a few seconds the story went viral. The mass media further spread the story especially from the angle of the public outcry generated by the recorded murder. Citizen’s journalism makes everyone a reporter. The ordinary citizen can also contribute in exposing acts of insecurity through the numerous phone-in programmes on radio and television, the internet media, especially social media and online versions of conventional media. The Bureau of Justice Assistance U.S. Department of Justice stated that social media can be employed to prevent crime in the following ways:
2.12.3  Supporting Neighbourhood Watch Groups
 The sustained involvement of the local law enforcement agency in watch group activities is critical. Social media can be used to link the work of a neighbourhood watch group to the department’s priorities and sustain the relationship. For example, neighborhoods watch group meeting announcements can be posted or linked to a department’s Facebook page. A law enforcement agency can feature the “Neighbourhood Watch Group of the Month” and highlight the work and accomplishments of the community group. This type of recognition will foster support for crime prevention and goodwill in the community. Most importantly, social media can be used to effectively distribute information to many neighbourhood watch groups in a timely manner.

2.12.4  Promoting Crime Prevention Events
 Department scan use all of their social media tools such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and soon to organize and promote crime prevention activities and events. Example activities include Celebrate Safe Communities, National Night Out, local community fairs where department officers will be present and conduct activities, and free document shredding days.
2.12.5  Developing Crime Prevention Blog
A blog that focuses on crime prevention opens the opportunity for citizens to respond to and discuss information posted by security agencies. Because blogs can be interactive, they encourage dialogue with a department and provide important community feedback. A crime prevention blog can help connect law enforcement executives to their community and improve accessibility.
2.12.6  Hosting Crime Prevention Web Chat
Hosting a crime prevention web chat with the chief or the public information officer allows the department to interface with many citizens regarding ways that they can keep themselves and their communities safe. Because web chats are interactive, they allow citizens to post questions and responses to crime prevention information.
2.12.7  Creating Crime Prevention Podcast
A podcast is an audio presentation that can be posted to a website and downloaded for playing at the convenience of the listener. Though podcasts are not interactive, they are a way for a department to create a presentation that can be downloaded by anyone who is interested in learning more about crime prevention. Podcasts can be posted online along with crime prevention documents and other useful department information.



2.13     Theoretical framework
The field of specialization study is anchored on the combination of the mass media theories and some of those theories are: agenda setting theory, gate keeping theory, aggressive cues theory and reinforcement theory.
2.13.1  Agenda Setting Theory
Agenda setting Theory was propounded by Maxwell McComb and Donald Shaw in 1972/1973. The Agenda Setting Theory states that media content sets the agenda for public discussion. The content of newspapers, radio, television, magazines and internet, books are things that people all over the country are talking about. The Agenda Setting Theory is based on the premise that news media set “agenda” of daily information for discussion based on what the media wants people to be talking about. Agenda setting theory propounders believed that the media did not specifically state what the people should think.  The theory can be very detrimental to society, citizens, politicians and other public figures. Sometimes the media plays a more vital role in society other than just reporting the news. The information is put there for a reason whether most people are aware of it or not.  The Agenda Setting Theory is positive for society because it puts the information out there. However, the down side is that the information may be biased and does not allow the people to select what they feel is important. There are many important news items that are reported on a regular basis. These items can be weather, crime, violence, politics and local information.  As members of this society, audience read these stories and then go about their lives to discuss them with friends, family, co-workers and neighbours. Sometimes, people talk about the same story day after day not realizing that the reason it is still a hot topic of conversation is because it was once again on the front page of the paper. As a society, the citizens need to know what is going on around them. The media publish information and circulate it in local communities and across the globe. 
 It seems to be harmless for the media to set the agenda of what is out there for public consumption. However, it depends on how people view it. The news about Boko Haram that has devastated the Northern part of the country would not have been so talked about if it was not on the front page of every paper, every day for about 10 years now. This was something that people watch and read through the media every day and more average people knew more about the Boko Haram insurgency because media publish it.
 The media publish a great deal of information but sometimes it is just too much. Politics play took a big role in what is presented to the public. It seems too often that politicians generally share the background, worldview and financial status as the owners and managers of the dominant media outlets (Official Agendas, 2002). This largely impacted on what information the public is given. The media moguls tend to give large donations to political campaigns and the politicians determine which networks they choose to run political advertisements. It seems to be a combination that has to be detrimental to the society members of this society.
The media does set the agenda of what is discussed around the world on daily basis. The media chooses the stories and the public reviews them on a regular basis. It does not seem that many people really are aware that there is someone selecting information for the public, but that is exactly what goes on every day. There are pros and cons of the system in which someone or few people select stories for public consumption. The people do not have input or have an opinion about the information they receive.
Tobechukwu (2007) argued further that democratic culture has also given the news media in general the privilege of setting the agenda of political discourse and other forms of socio-cultural cum economic discussions. This invariably makes the media powerful and influential. As suggested by Baran and Davies (2003 cited in Tobechukwu, 2007), agenda setting theory empirically demonstrates links between media exposure, audience motivation to seek orientation, and audience perception of public on issues. It also integrates a number of similar ideas like priming, story positioning, and story vividness. The agenda setting theory implies that the mass media pre-determine what issues are regarded as important at any given time in a given society. This theory does not ascribe to the media power to determine what the public actually thinks, but to them the power to determine what the people should be thinking about. This assertion is associated with Bernard Cohen’s statement that the media may not always be successful in telling people what to think but what to think about. With this theory in mind, the media is expected to raise conflicts to the plane of discussion and should do everything possible to see that the public gets the right information that will enable them take an informed decision.
 Therefore, the issues that should preoccupy our attention in this study are did the Nigerian press coverage of political crises reflect any bias that could have contributed to the management of such crises?  What roles have they played and what positions and sides have they taken in reporting political crises, which may make or mar the management and resolution of such crises?  Considering the fact the Nigerian polity is made of numerous ethnic nationalities, did ownership patterns (which in many instances are ethnic based) affect the quality of reportage given to political crises?  These questions (in the Nigerian context) expose the actual link between political crises and the press.

2.13.2  Gate Keeping Theory
The Media Gate Keeping Theory focuses on media regulation of information flow. The term gate keeping was coined by an Austrian Psychologist Kurt Lewin in 1947. In mass communication the term refers to the filtering or blocking of unwanted information or messages. The gate keepers refer to persons who (a) controls access to information; (b) influence decision making and actions; (c) having influence. Lewin illustrated the role of the gate keeper with the role of a mother who determines what is good for her children (Onwubere, n.d).
Gate keeping is one of the mass media's central roles in public life: people rely on media gatekeepers to transform information about events into a manageable number of media messages. According to Onwubere, David Mann White suggested having selection process in Newspapers in 1950. The gate keeper has to decide what to publish and what not to publish in Newspaper, magazine, radio, television and internet. Today Mass Media play a gate keeping role as they decide what the people should read, watch, listen and enjoy.
The theory posits that gate keeping determines not only which information is selected, but also what the content and nature of messages, such as news, will be. The theory describes the powerful process through which events are covered by the mass media, explaining how and why certain information either passes through gates or is closed off from media attention. The Gate keeping theory is a child of the gate keeping function of the mass media of communication. Kurt Lewin formed the term “gate keeping” at about 1951. He used the term to describe those individuals who control the “gates” or channels through which information or news passes from the source to the final consumers.
Lewin’s point here is that no media house, no matter the size and level of operation, has the capacity to transmit all the messages it receives in the course of a day’s business. Some persons have to decide which news to transmit, which to defer its transmission to another date and time, which to modify, which to delete completely or which to kill out rightly. Such persons, according to Lewin (1951) open and close the gate that stands between the news sources and the receivers. It is worthy of note that gate keeping as a mass media activity and function does end at opening and closing the news gate, or rejecting and accepting news/information for publication or broadcast, it also involves the shaping and reshaping, display, timing, repetition etc of the news and information in the various media establishment. The media stand as a regular mirror of the social world which may lead the audience to adopt the media version of social reality of values and expectations.
The journalist is first and foremost a gatekeeper and may have to perform this role at different periods in the news process.
The factors influencing gate keeping decisions include timing, ownership pattern, management policy, perceived needs and preferences of the audience, editor’s perception of reality, views held by editor’s colleagues, influence of advertisers, appraisal of offering by the competition, availability of photography or film footage, legal consideration, professional ethics, ideological perspectives and political orientation. The media decide what audience will learn of, and indeed how they will interpret the day’s events in the nation and in the world. They create national issues and icons overnight, and can make or mar by their coverage and the slant they give to issues. The Gate keeping Theory, therefore, revolves around the media role of news selection and dissemination in line with the influential factors listed above. Mass media have the power to affect and influence the way people think, feel, and behave, the mass media have been credited with incredible persuasive ability to change attitudes and behaviour. This has made the media a source of worry, especially to governments (Folarin, 2002).

2.13.3  Social Responsibility Theory
The social responsibility media theory owes its origin to the Hutchins commission on freedom of the press, set up in the United States of America in 1947 to re-examine the concept of press freedom as enunciate in the libertarian or free press theory. The Social responsibility media theory details the key journalistic standards that the press should seek to maintain. It means that the media have an obligation to the wider society and media ownership is a public trust; news media should be truthful, accurate fair, objective and relevant.
The centre point of Social responsibility theory is that even though the press should be free, there is no absolute freedom anywhere without corresponding responsibility which put some kind of check on that freedom. The Social responsibility theory signifies the media’s social responsibility to the people and the government. Newsmen should promote universal principles of human rights, democracy, justice, equity, peace and international understanding.

2.13.4  Reinforcement Theory
Reinforcement Theory was also propounded by De Fleur and Ball-Rocheach in 1975 (Anaeto et al., 2008). The theory is based on the assumption that:
  • Mass mediated violence reinforces whatever establishment patterns of violent behaviour possessed by the individual.
  • Everybody has a violent pattern and the media reinforces the pattern.
  • For people (children and youth) lacking social stability and fruitful social relationships, mass-mediated violence may provide a primary model for violent behaviour.
The theory shows that personal characteristics, social roles, cultural norms and peer influences are some of the factors that determine violent behaviour in an individual (Anaeto et.al., 2008).The theory  states that attempt to blame the incidence of violence in the world by reducing the level  and changing pattern of violence in the media (for example, TV) will fail. This is because the motivating force behind real world violence is not what is seen on the media, but the type and nature of education and behaviour learnt at homes and among peer groups (Daramola, 2003 cited in Anaeto et.al., 2008). The theory calls for concerted efforts to control what children are exposed to at home and in society than what they see on television, Daramola stated.

2.14     Conclusion
Authority is always legitimised through references to social order and we all have a stake in social order in this country. The threat of crimes and criminal elements in our society requires the co-operation of all our citizens, the media and the government must co-operate to declare a moral equivalent of war against crimes and criminals. The Police, which are the symbol of law and order in society, must receive the favourable attention of the media as befits its role as the frontline government agency in the battle against crime.  The media must promote the idea of local responsibility for combating crimes and criminals. There is no doubt about power of the written or spoken word in changing society. The power of the media as agents of national mobilisation is obvious in the history of revolutions all over the world. At this stage of Nigeria development, it is necessary for the Police to undergo a re-structuring exercise that would result in a greater co-operation and popular support. In short, in efforts to combat crime in our society, it will be unwise, to continue to ignore the significance of cultural, social, even ethnic and religious factors that are associated with our citizens.
2.15     Recommendations
The mass media especially newspapers, radio and television broadcasting, internet websites and blogs and all social media in Nigeria should be used to enhance and sustain the security of the nation. This means that mass media should never be used as divisive instruments among the people of Nigeria but rather should be used for the promotion and consolidation of national unity and integration.
The mass media should also function as a watchdog of the society and as a crusade dog by exposing political evils and corruption in government and political circles. However, Nigeria as a developing nation needs a press more attuned to developmental reporting than with conflicts and crises also notes that caution should be exercised in the coverage/reportage of politically motivated conflicts in developing societies.
Citizens’ journalism could play a vital role in the utilization of the mass media to combat insecurity in Nigeria. Citizens’ journalism which is also known as public, participatory, civic or street journalism consists of active participation of members of the public in news gathering and dissemination. It has variously been defined as members of the public playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.
Regular workshops on conflict reporting, journalism ethics, mass media in a multi-cultural society, reporting terrorism, professionalism in journalism, among other are essential to continually keep media newsmen abreast with trends in mass media use in combating insecurity in Nigeria. This would ensure that the mass media are not used to worsen the problem of insecurity due to lack of knowledge on how to handle this specialized journalism area.


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SOCIETY, CRIME AND NATIONAL SECURITY: ROLE OF THE MEDIA SOCIETY, CRIME AND NATIONAL SECURITY: ROLE OF THE MEDIA Reviewed by IFEDAYO AKINWALERE on 8:57:00 pm Rating: 5

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