By Zailani Bappa
The satellite television, Arewa24, with headquarters in Kano, will continue to be a pain for northerners who cherish their heritage. It is a necessary evil and a bad influence on the teeming youth in a predominantly conservative society. But, it is established to achieve a purpose and do that efficiently and quickly.
I learned the medium was established by the US government through one of its established NGOs some nine years ago. Amidst the devastating experience of Boko Haram in this part of the country, several studies have indicated to the West that the passion for Islamic values in the North and the teeming followership of a springing set of radical Salafists in the region is the major cause of such developing activism….or should I say…terrorism.
Hence, the decision to spend the hard-earned tax-payers money of the American people to build an entertainment television station in the heart of conservative Kano (after rejecting Kaduna and Abuja as a base for the new medium). I am sure you know that when these guys give you a dime worth of something with the right hand, they are sure enough to take back something worth a dollar from you with the left hand.
So, the Arewa 24 came into light with a bang…..good hands employed mostly popular actors from the entertainment industry as pioneer staff, with good pay for them to work optimally and to stay, very enticing and entertaining programmes with fresh breath of air and of course, all programmes beamed to us with the best of technology one can find around here. Significantly, most programmes target women and the young.
Free of charge, we were entertained until the station became a menu that came to every table in the house. Then came the next stage of the plan (as I see it). It was sold out to a very rich and powerful Nigerian who has the capacity and the passion to run it according to both the quality of content and the pursuit of the target.
Gradually, the programmes started becoming more daring in their approach to change. There is mild and uncoordinated resistance here and there, but the medium has a strong advisory consultant. They evade or outrightly neutralise every challenge from angry quarters at times. And they will continue to do so.
I firmly believe that the Arewa 24 debut, acceptability, prowess, and popularity (often challenged with visionless resistance) are only the tip of the iceberg. This is an era of globalisation. It is a moving train we cannot stop. It will reach its destination, ultimately. Our resistance to it will continue to be a massage to its global ego.
So, for those who understand this phenomenon, just pray, stay calm and do your own thing according to your conscience. Teach your young ones to value your values the way you can, very hard and consistently; then, leave the rest to God. This fight is just too big for us……..for every one of us.
Zailani Bappa wrote from Bauchi State via firstname.lastname@example.org.