NHRC craves review of NBC laws to protect citizens’ rights
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) called for a review of policies and legislation of National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) with a view to enhancing the rights of citizens.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu, made the call in Abuja at an event to commemorate the 2021 World Press Freedom Day.
“Legislations and policies of the National Broadcasting Corporation which have been challenged by well-meaning Nigerians should be revisited to avoid human rights infringements while administering such legislations and policies,” Ojukwu advised.
He said the human rights commission was on the same page with the civil society in condemning attempts by NBC to impose excessive fines on media houses for activities based on provision of information to the citizens.
The NHRC boss noted that majority of journalists in Nigeria have severally lived up to their professional duties to unearth wrongdoings in the society, no matter whose ox is gored, even at the risk of their lives and that of their family members.
Ojukwu, who referred to journalists as human rights defenders, urged United Nations, African Union (AU) and other international bodies to persuade their member-nations to put stringent legislation in place to curb violence against journalists and promote life insurance policies for them in countries where they are not already in place.
To him, this would ensure that families of any deceased or maimed journalists are given the social security protection that they deserve.
Ojukwu described the theme of this year’s commemoration, “Information for Public Good”, as apt because it reminds both government and the citizens of the importance of information as a tool for national development.
A statement released by the commission’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Fatimah Mohammed, stated that the NHRC stood with the civil society to condemn attempts of some parliamentarians to pass bills restricting social media and civic spaces.
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