Election Coverage: NBC Sanctions 25 Broadcast Stations, Issues Final Warning To 16 Others
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has sanctioned 25 broadcast stations and issued a final warning to 16 others for failing to adhere to extant broadcast law on coverage of the 2023 general elections and other offenses.
This was revealed by the Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah during a press conference held in Abuja on Tuesday, ahead of the March 18 governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.
Ilelah said one station was sanctioned for broadcasting the election results before the Independent National Electoral Commission announced the results which contravened Section 5.33 of the NBC code.
He also said 17 stations were sanctioned for broadcasting partisan party content after NBC’s prescribed 24-hour stoppage time, while four stations have been sanctioned for divisive comments.
Ilelah said, “In the course of our monitoring, the commission observed, with dismay, that some broadcast stations allowed their platforms to be used by some guests, callers, and analysts to score unhealthy political points inimical to our corporate existence.
“Ethnic and religious profiling became awfully rampant. Invectives and counterblasts were thrown freely by guests on the platform of broadcast stations to the detriment of the Nigerian people.
“Subversive discussions and reckless comments, capable of tearing us apart as a people were broadcast freely without proper gatekeeping. Ethics and professionalism were thrown overboard.
He added that broadcast stations have a duty to protect the nation’s unity and punctuate diversity as a distinctive mark of pride and promote sustainable democracy in Nigeria.
“We expect broadcast stations to exercise freedom of expression as agents of society, not for any personal or promote sectional rights, privileges and further their own or that of their proprietors, relatives, or supporters as highlighted in Section 3.1.3 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the National Broadcasting Commission, which was established by NBC Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, too, amongst other responsibilities, license, monitor, and regulate broadcasting in Nigeria and will not operate outside the precincts of this Act. The commission will continue to carry out its mandate without fear or favour,” he added.
Ilelah also warned that ahead of Saturday’s governorship and State Assembly polls, all broadcast stations must adhere to the provision of the law on broadcasting.