2023 poll: Ganduje worries over unflattering media contents, challenges NBC to sanction violators
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has challenged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) not to hesitate to deploy appropriate sanction against broadcasting station that violate the professional code of conduct and other extant laws.
Besides, Ganduje reminded the NBC of statutory responsibility of ensuring decent political broadcasting that will help entrench credible democratic culture as the nation enters electioneering season.
Ganduje spoke at the opening of NBC Sensitisation Forum on Political Broadcasting for North West and North East zones held in Kano.
The governor, who expressed concern over how some media stations dish out contents laced with character assassination reminded the regulator to instil professional and responsible broadcasting during the political campaign.
According to him, “In Kano, it has become a daily culture for politicians to use the radio stations to unfairly attack opponents especially the ‘Sojojinbaka’, who are hiked to malign highly placed individuals. Unfortunately some of the anchors of this program allow it to pass. It is rarely unfortunate.
“NBC should enforce the code of the later. Our politicians should know that their freedom to say anything against another person on the media stops where other person’s right start. This forum cannot come at any better time when broadcasting stations needed to be conscious, careful, mindful and accountable for stability of the nation.
“While we ensure free environment for press freedom, we would not shy away from our responsibility to exercise caution on abuse of privilege in the media. I want to assure that measures are being put in place to ensure violent free campaign and indecent act that could destroy the peace of the society during the season,” Ganduje noted.
Earlier, NBC Director General, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, cautioned broadcast media from availing their platform to political campaigns capable of instigating violence and disunity in the country.
Besides, the commission vowed to sanction any broadcaster who circumvent code of conduct, Electoral Act and other extent laws, while engaging in 2023 political campaigns.
The DG said broadcasters are not statutory empowered to announce or declare election prior to declaration of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He warned that any media who unilaterally assumed the position of INEC would be dealt with appropriately.
Ilelah equally reminded broadcasters drawn from North West and North Eastern parts of the country, on the statutory responsibility of NBC to ensure safe and peace ecosystem before and during election insisted that practitioners must act responsibly.
On political campaign, the DG stressed that broadcasters must ensure equal allocation of airtime during their peak period for jingles and program added that political parties hold the responsibility to report any outfit who abuse the rights for necessary sanction.
According to him, “broadcasters are meant to offer equal platform for exchange of ideas in fair manner. Political broadcasting must be tailored to promote national unity, political Harmony and tolerance.
“It will not be business as usual. Broadcasters must desist from spreading fake news, hatred speeches, and derogatory remarks. We have to promote peace not violence, educate not misinform and safeguard and not destroy the society,” Ilelah said.
In their separate remarks, participants raised concern on the survival of broadcasting stations on the heel of economic and security challenges presently taken toll on the organisations.