“The attention of the Management of the National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC ) has been drawn to a sensational and incorrect report circulating on the internet.
“That the Director-General of the Commission, Malam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, accused some supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari of violating the Broadcasting Code, among other embarrassing misrepresentations and claims.
“To set the record straight, and for the avoidance of any doubt, the NBC organised a Stakeholders Forum on Political Broadcasts, which held on Thursday, Oct. 26 in Kano State.
“The choice of this location in Kano were both necessary and strategic, given the fact that Kano is the most populous state in Nigeria with over 20 operating broadcast establishments as well as the observed spike in hate speech within the environment.”
He, therefore, appealed to both the traditional and on-line media to uphold the guiding tenets of journalism profession through objective, factual and decent reportage.
“This has been the time-tested practice and should remain the irreducible minimum gold-standard in our media practice.”
Kawu explained that the law establishing NBC specifies that regulating the Industry was a core function of the commission in order to ensure decent, objective and factual reportage by all Operators.
According to him, this resonates with the expressed determination and policy thrust of the present administration to eliminate hate and incendiary speeches and broadcasts across all levels of society.
“It was against this background that the Director General of the Commission, in his address in Kano, alluded to the escalating spate of hate speech in political broadcasts.
“And the imperative for broadcast operators to be vigilant and be guided by the broadcasting code in their operations.”
He lamented instances where political actors often misconstrue the statutory role of NBC as an Industry regulator to be impeding and restricting their political activities, making such actors to reach out to contacts in high levels of government for undue political interference and advantage.
“In making this observation, the director-general drew several examples across political and regional boundaries to justify the assertion.
“It is therefore, grossly untrue and mischievous to misrepresent the remarks of the Director-General of the NBC at a Forum in Kano that he made an exclusive accusation targeted against Buhari’s supporters”.
Kawu restated that the position of NBC on hate speech and other incendiary broadcasts remained consistent with the overarching principles and rules of global best-practice.
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