By Salisu Sani-Idris
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has warned all broadcasters not to compromise national unity while covering the upcoming general election.
NBC CEO Malam Balarabe Ilelah issued the warning in a statement Wednesday in Abuja.
He said: “The National Broadcasting Commission would like to once again remind all broadcasters covering the upcoming general elections to take note of the provisions of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code and other relevant regulations governing the broadcasting of elections in Nigeria.
”The commission has watched, with deep concern, as politicians have thrown into the air the ethics and ethos used by the media platforms.
“This goes against the provisions of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, which states that when using materials for news and current affairs programmes, the broadcaster must avoid inflammatory, derogatory and divisive hate speech, comments or allusions.
”The commission notes that some stations now glorify these situations on their platforms. NBC reiterates that said stations will pay for their professional misconduct.”
Ilelah said that for the avoidance of doubt, broadcasters were advised to take note of the sections of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code which state that the broadcaster should promote human dignity.
He added: “Hate speech is therefore prohibited. Section 3.11.1(a) states that all broadcasters must ensure that no language or scene is broadcast that may encourage or incite crime or disorder.
“Furthermore, section 3.11.1(b) advises the broadcaster to ensure that no program contains anything that subverts constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“Similarly, section 5.4.1(f) prohibits broadcasters from broadcasting divisive material that could threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
Ilelah said that section 5.3.3(g) urged broadcasters to ensure that a political broadcast is clearly identified as political and not presented in a way that misleads the audience into believing that the program is of any kind. another type.
“In addition, section 5.3.3(j) directs broadcasters to ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, advertisement, and any form of identification or symbol of a political party ends no later than 24 hours before the voting day.
“NBC ACT CAP N11, Nigerian Federation Laws, 2004, also prescribes, in Third Schedule 12(6) that “A Licensee shall be responsible for the content of the Station Broadcast.
“The commission urges all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used by politicians, their supporters and/or sympathizers, for the transmission of content that could lead to the breach of law and order,” ilelah
He said that broadcasters were therefore expected to play the role of peacekeepers by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani