Nigeria’s broadcast media regulatory body, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) warned media broadcasters not to glamorise derogatory accusations by politicians during the election season, adding that media operators engaging in such acts “shall pay”.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Director-General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah on Wednesday in Abuja.
This comes after the Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai claimed in an interview on Wednesday that there are elements in the Presidency working against the ruling APC for the 2023 elections.
Professional misdemeanour: NBC said some media operators shall pay for their professional misdemeanour, accusing them of broadcasting divisive statements by Politicians, they said:
”The National Broadcasting Commission wish to again, remind all broadcasters covering the forthcoming general elections to take note of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of elections in Nigeria.
” The commission has observed, with deep concerns, how ethics and ethos have been thrown to the winds by politicians using broadcast media platforms.
” This is against the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which provides that in using materials for news and current affairs programmes, the broadcaster shall avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions.
” The commission notes that some stations now glamorise these situations on their platforms. NBC reiterates that such stations shall pay for their professional misdemeanour.”
Hate speech: The NBC chief also warned that hate speech is prohibited in its broadcasting code, and should ensure no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority, they said:
“Therefore, hate speech is prohibited. Section 3.11.1 (a) states that all broadcasters should ensure that language or a scene likely to encourage or incite crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast.
“Also, section 3.11.1 (b) advises broadcasters to ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“Similarly, section 5.4.1 (f) prohibits broadcasters from transmitting divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
Polling day: Ilelah added political campaign broadcasts of any form must end not later than 24 hours before polling day, he said:
“Also, section 5.3.3 (j) enjoins broadcasters to ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement and any form of partisan political party identification or symbol ends not later than 24 hours before polling day.
“The NBC ACT CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, also prescribes, in the Third Schedule 12(6) that “A Licensee shall be responsible for the content of the Station’s Broadcast.
NBC urged broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used by politicians, their supporters and or sympathisers, for the broadcast of content that may lead to the breakdown of law and order.
In case you missed it
Yesterday the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, claimed in an interview on Channels TV that some individuals within the Presidency, who are aligned with a candidate that lost an election primary, are now working against the APC, citing the failure to remove the fuel subsidy as an outcome of the impasse within the party.
He added that the Governors and Presidency earlier agreed to remove the subsidy in 2021. However, the Presidency did a U-turn on the agreement.
The Federal Government reacted by saying it was not officially aware of any entity in the Presidential Villa working against the victory of the APC flagbearer, Bola Tinubu.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, restated President Buhar’s position on free, fair, and credible elections, and would neither favour nor disfavour any presidential candidate ahead of the February 25 election.
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