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Nigeria: NBC Clarions Restraint on ‘Sensitive Issues’

The National Broadcasting Commission has called on all broadcasting stations in the country to exercise restraint in the treatment of sensitive issues that could threaten the unity and stability of Nigeria.

The commission was reacting to the heated media controversy generated by the Independence Day bombing in Abuja.

A press statement signed by NBC’s Head of Public Affairs Awwalu Salihu enjoined broadcasting stations “to be professional and take guidance from the Nigerian Broadcasting Code at all times.”

Specifically, the commission enjoins broadcasting stations to take special note of the following provisions of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, which emphasize peace and national integration.

“There is section 3.1.2, which requires that materials likely to encourage or incite to the commission of a crime or lead to public disorder shall not be broadcast.

Similarly, section 5. 5.5 of the code prescribes that a station shall not broadcast divisive rhetoric that threatens and compromises the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”

The statement warned that appropriate sanctions would be meted out to erring stations that operate outside the confines of the code.

The commission reiterated that broadcast organisations were expected to exercise freedom of expression as agents of society, “not for any personal or sectional rights, privileges and needs of their own or of their proprietors, relatives, rights or supporters as highlighted in the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.”