Abuja — The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has vowed to close down broadcast stations airing programmes capable of undermining national security and peaceful co-existence.
The Director-General NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah, issued the warning at a meeting with broadcast stations on the coverage of the Presidential, National Assembly, Gubernatorial and state assembly elections.
“The NBC is giving its last warning to broadcast stations and will not hesitate to shut or revoke the license of any when convinced that its activities are capable of undermining the peaceful co-existence of the country.
“Any further breaches of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and Act will no longer be tolerated,” he warned.
He said the Commission monitored the coverage of the elections by some broadcast stations and was petrified that some of them yielded air time to unpatriotic individuals to make subversive, hateful, and inciting utterances, particularly post-election.
He noted, however, that the coverage of the elections and post-election matters were “marred by unguarded statements, divisive and dangerous comments”.
The NBC DG noted that the media has a role to play in ensuring national development by publishing or broadcasting narratives of national reconciliation and healing in these unsettling times.
He urged broadcast stations to avoid the promotion of negative conversations that are not only dangerous to democracy, but constituted threats to Nigeria’s corporate existence.
He acknowledged that using broadcast platforms to incite supporters or create enmity would not help in deepening the nation’s democracy.
“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 stressed.
He appealed to broadcast stations to abide strictly by laid-down rules of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, the Act and other extant laws guiding broadcasting in Nigeria.
He stressed that the media has responsibility to ensure that national issues discussed on the airwaves were done with decorum, civility, patriotism and a sense of fairness.