Insult the President, Governors and other leaders and be arrested – NBC
Broadcast stations that allow their platforms to be used to insult Nigerian leaders will henceforth pay the price for such actions.
This was disclosed in a recent warning to broadcast stations by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The NBC in a letter to broadcast stations noted that contents that insult others or incite people should not be allowed while stations that are found guilty will face prosecution.
While noting people’s rights to hold government accountable, NBC stated that such must not be done through the use of abusive or insulting words.
NBC’s position was contained in a letter dated August 3 by Chibuike Ogwumike, zonal director of the NBC Lagos office where he referred broadcast stations to sections of the NBC code that provides for “professional rules” against content that “denigrates the social norms, values, and culture of the society”.
He warned that the NBC will no longer take such issues lightly and guilty stations will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Monitoring activities indicate that in the recent time, some broadcast stations have abdicated their editorial responsibilities such that guests and callers on programmes abuse and insult leaders and those in authority freely and without caution,” he said.
“May I please draw your attention to the following provisions of the Broadcasting Code: Section 3.1.: Professional Rules: 3.1.1: No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organization, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.
“Also, 3.1.19: The broadcast shall not transmit content that denigrates the social norms, values and culture of the society.”
“To denigrate our elders and leaders in abusive terms is not our culture. We respect our leaders as a positive cultural value,” it added.
“We expect Broadcasters, especially anchors to show professionalism in the handling of programmes such that guest or callers that exhibit such tendency are professionally handled.
“The recourse to abusing, denigrating and insulting the President, Governors, MPs and other leaders does not show us as cultured people.”
The letter is coming into the public domain after the government recently warned broadcast stations to desist from airing hate speech as such would henceforth attract a fine of up to N5 million.