The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has issued a warning to all broadcasters covering the upcoming general elections in Nigeria to follow the guidelines set by the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and other relevant regulations.
The commission emphasized the need for broadcasters to act as agents of peace by maintaining responsibility, accuracy, and neutrality in their coverage. The Director-General of NBC, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, stated that broadcasters must avoid airing content that could cause a disturbance to law and order.
The NBC reiterates the importance of adhering to the provisions set forth by the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and relevant regulations in their coverage of the forthcoming elections.
Ilelah said: “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 glamorize 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.”