Towards a fair and responsible broadcast coverage of the Gubernatorial Election in Bayelsa state, which has been slated for the 11th of November 2023, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is in the state for a one-day Sensitisation workshop on Political Broadcast.
The workshop is aimed at discussing the Commission’s expectations from broadcasters as they enter into another season of campaigns and electioneering, as well as, to also encourage broadcast practitioners to be professional in their programming and election reportage.
This is in line with the Commission’s regulatory responsibilities in ensuring strict adherence to the Nigeria Broadcasting Code as it relates to political broadcast.
The workshop with theme: Coverage of Bayelsa Election 2023: Upholding Fairness, Transparency and Equity is taking place at Ayalla Hotels, Yenegoa.
Speaking through the Director, National Broadcasting Commission, Mallam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, the Director Broadcast Monitoring, Mrs Francisca Aiyetan, welcomed participants to the political broadcast sensitisation workshop.
She noted that it was expedient to remind broadcasters of the need to have a responsible and professional coverage of broadcast campaigns and election.
Mrs. Franca Aiyetan pointed out that the sensitization workshop is the regulator’s way of reminding broadcasters of the critical role they play in the country’s democratic process.
The Director General’s representative further noted that the NBC is in Bayelsa state to underscore the huge responsibility thursted on the broadcasters to guide the process by strict adherence to the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which she said, contains specific guidelines on Political Broadcasts.
Mrs. Aiyetan added that the Commission will also use the sensitization workshop to speak to the conscience of other critical stakeholders to allow broadcasters do their job without putting them under undue pressure as this, could threaten the success of the Gubernatorial election. Adding, that the commission hopes that the workshop will avail broadcasters the opportunity to refresh their code of ethics and remind them of the need to be professional during and after the election.
The Director General’s representative further called on broadcasters to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, which she said, empowers the electoral umpire to prosecute presenters, principal officers, media house owners and persons that contravene the Electoral Act and if found wanting, could be fined millions of naira or imprisoned or both.
She implored broadcasters to be guided by the laws and the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code as the Commission will ensure strict adherence to these extant laws.
Mrs. Franca Aiyetan, in conclusion, retirerated that the National Broadcasting Commission will not hesitate to sanction any defaulting station in consonance with the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. She thereafter, reminded broadcast practitioners that licences are held in trust on behalf of the public and should be administered with utmost responsibility.
Also in attendance are: ACP Oweimo Ebi Peraboh- Rep. Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State., Mr. Temitope Abdullahi-Rep. Director, DSS, DCC, Mohammed Hassan Agalama- Rep. State Commandant, NSCDC, Mr. Nathaniel Renner- Rep. Commissioner of Information who all deliver goodwill messages.