Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the ooni of Ife, has called for the replacement of the Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) reality TV, saying it is misrepresenting the integrity of the Nigerian youth.
The monarch, who addressed the youth on Wednesday in Ile-Ife, Osun state, in celebration of the International Youth Day, also suggested that BBNaija be replaced with “The Big Nigeria Reality Show.”
The ooni wondered how reports on the reality TV show attract more interest from youths than matters pertaining to leadership and politics.
“Nigerian youths are fond of accusing, abusing our leaders. Stop abusing but contribute your own quota. Let’s wear our thinking caps and begin to act like the real future leaders that we are,” he said.
“In the last general election, the total number of vote cast was around 27 million while over 170 million people voted during the 2019 Big Brother Naija reality show.
“This is a practical reality of who Nigerian youths are, where our priorities lie. The funny side is that we still go to bed, have a good sleep, and wake up with the hope to meet a Nigeria we didn’t create.”
On his suggestions for a replacement, the ooni called on the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) to work out an alternative that will project the country’s values, cultures, and traditions.
“The proposed show will be structured in a way that young professionals, talented individuals, and others across several fields of endeavour will be showcased and helped to reach their peak,” he said.
“This will help participants and viewers to have access to people that can be seen as role models. Every time I talk about this, everyone laughs and moves on. What kind of nation are we building?
“When people say this country, or what kind of country is this, they are indirectly saying these people – it is the people that make a country; so what kind of Nigerian youths are we?”
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, had earlier asked the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to take BBNaija off the air, citing fears about a possible COVID-19 spread.
As the show’s 2020 edition had begun, there’d been a resurgence of the previous criticisms against it as many conservative Nigerians expressed their anger at the romantic scenes that often emerge.