Nigeria’s broadcasting regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says it has issued a last warning and vowed to shut down broadcast stations whose programmes are capable of undermining the peace of the country.
The spokesperson of the commission, Ekanem Antia, on Friday, said Balarabe Ilela, NBC director-general, spoke at a meeting with broadcast stations on the coverage of the February 25 elections.
“The NBC is giving its last warning to broadcast stations and will not hesitate to shut or revoke the licence of any when convinced that its activities are capable of undermining the peaceful co-existence of the country,” he said.
“Any further breaches of the Nigeria broadcasting code and act will no longer be tolerated.”
He said the commission monitored the coverage of the elections by some broadcast stations and noted how they made their platforms available to “unpatriotic individuals” to make subversive, hateful, and inciting utterances, particularly post-election.
According to Antia, the DG of NBC said the coverage of the elections and post-election matters were “marred by unguarded statements, divisive and dangerous comments”.
Anita said the media has a role to play in ensuring national development by publishing or broadcasting narratives of national reconciliation and healing.
He called on broadcast stations to avoid the promotion of negative conversations which are not only dangerous to democracy but pose threats to Nigeria’s corporate existence.
“In as much as the commission believes in the freedom of expression, it is also seriously constrained to act decisively on any broadcaster that exploits the fragile peace of our nation,” he said.
He appealed to broadcast stations to abide strictly by laid-down rules of the broadcasting code, the act, and other extant laws guiding broadcasting in Nigeria.