Ahead of the forthcoming Gubernatorial elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa states, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC has warned broadcasters covering the off-circle elections to take note of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of Elections in Nigeria.
The Commission said it observed with deep concern, how ethics and ethos have been thrown to the winds by Politicians, using Broadcast Media platforms, which it said is against the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, in Section 5, “that in using materials for News and Current Affairs Programmes, the Broadcaster shall avoid Hate Speech, Inflammatory, Derogatory and Divisive Remarks or Allusions.”
It advised broadcasting stations to note relevant provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Codes that should guide their conduct during the scheduled off-circle elections in order not to breach the law.
The statement reads in part: “The National Broadcasting Commission wish to remind broadcasters covering the forthcoming OFF-SEASON GOVERNORSHIP ELECTIONS in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States, to take note of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of Elections in Nigeria.
“The Commission has observed with deep concerns, how ethics and ethos have been thrown to the winds by Politicians, using Broadcast Media platforms. This is against the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, in Section 5, that in using materials for News and Current Affairs Programmes, the Broadcaster shall avoid Hate Speech, Inflammatory, Derogatory and Divisive Remarks or Allusions.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Broadcasters are advised to note the following provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code that the Broadcaster shall: 3.1.2 Promote human dignity, therefore, HATE SPEECH IS PROHIBITED; 3.11.1(a) ensure that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast; 3.11.1(b) ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state; 5.4.1(f) not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state; 5.3.3(g) ensure that a political broadcast is clearly identified as such, and not presented in a manner that would mislead the audience to believe that the programme is of any other type and 5.3.3(j) ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement and any form of partisan political party identification or symbol ends not later than twenty-four hours before polling day.
It also lists other provisions as: 5.3.3(k) not use any vote obtained at a polling station or from an exit poll to project or speculate on the chances of a candidate; 5.3.3(l) relay election results or declaration of the winner only as announced by the authorised electoral officer for the election; 5.3.4.
In exceptional circumstances, a government functionary may perform a service relating to his/her office within the 24hour campaign restriction period, provided there is no colouration of partisanship by the official or the broadcaster.”
The Çommission further states that the NBC ACT CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, also prescribes, in the Third Schedule 12(6) that “A Licensee shall be responsible for the content of the Station’s Broadcast.
It therefore enjoined all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used by politicians, their supporters and/ or sympathisers, for the broadcast of contents that may lead to the breakdown of law and order.