Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, on Monday, cautioned broadcast media organisations against broadcasting campaigns capable of instigating violence and disunity in the country. Ilelah said this in Kano at the opening of the Nationwide Sensitisation Forum on Political Broadcasting ahead of next year’s general election.
He stated that the commission would sanction any broadcaster, which circumvented the code of conduct, Electoral Act, and other extant laws, while engaging in 2023 political campaigns.
Ilelah stated that broadcasters were not statutorily empowered to announce or declare election results before INEC. He warned that any media organisation that unilaterally assumed the position of INEC would be dealt with appropriately.
The NBC director general reminded the broadcasters drawn from the North-west and North-east of the statutory responsibility of the commission to ensure a safe and peaceful ecosystem before and during election.
Maintaining that practitioners must act responsibly, he stressed that broadcasters must ensure equal allocation of airtime during their peak period for jingles and programmes. He said political parties had the responsibility to report any outfit that abused their rights for necessary sanction.
Ilelah stated, “Broadcasters are meant to offer equal platforms for exchange of ideas in a 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.”
Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano and Udora Orizu in Abuja