The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Wednesday warned broadcasters covering the forthcoming general elections to abide by the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of elections in Nigeria.
Consequently, the commission enjoined all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their facilities to be used by politicians and their supporters for the broadcast of content that may lead to the breakdown of law and order.
The Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, in a statement, said broadcasters were therefore expected to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.
The statement read, “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. The National Broadcasting Commission reiterate that such station shall pay for their professional misdemeanour.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Broadcasters are advised to note the following sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provide that the broadcaster shall:
“Promote human dignity, therefore, hate speech is prohibited; ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast; 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; not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
Other Sections included that the broadcaster shall ensure that a political broadcast was clearly identified as such, and not presented in a manner that would mislead the audience to believe that the programme is of any other type.
“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 twenty-four hours before polling day; not use any vote obtained at a polling station or from an exit poll to project or speculate on the chances of a candidate.
“Relay election results or declaration of the winner only as announced by the authorized electoral officer for the election. In exceptional circumstances, a government functionary may perform a service relating to his/her office within the 24-hour campaign restriction period, provided there is no colouration of partisanship by the official or the broadcaster.”
Ilelah said, “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.
“Conclusively, the commission enjoins all 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 contents that may lead to the breakdown of law and order.
“Broadcasters are, therefore, expected to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.”Follow us on social media