The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, has issued a warning to broadcast media outlets on Wednesday against using their platforms to promote campaigns that could lead to violence and division in the nation.
Ilelah made this statement in Lagos at the political broadcasting sensitization forum themed: “Towards a fair and responsible broadcast coverage of the 2023 general elections: a multi-stakeholder dialogue”.
In his address, the DG said that broadcasters were not legally permitted to pronounce or announce election results except before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does so and then issued a warning that any media outlet that unilaterally adopted the viewpoint of INEC would face severe sanctions.
“The Commission would penalise any broadcaster that participated in political campaigns in 2023 while flouting the code of conduct, the Electoral Act, and other applicable legislation,” Ilelah said.
Furthermore, the Director-General of NBC emphasised that broadcasters must provide equal distribution of airwaves for jingles and programmes throughout their peak period while maintaining that practitioners must act responsibly.
Political parties, according to him, have a duty to notify any organisation abusing its privileges so that appropriate repercussions might be applied.
Broadcasters are intended to provide equitable forums for the fair exchange of ideas, according to Ilelah. “Political broadcasting must be crafted to encourage tolerance, political harmony, and national cohesion.
“Things won’t go on as usual. The dissemination of false information, hate speech, and disparaging remarks must stop on broadcast media. We must advocate for nonviolence rather than violence, educate rather than misinform, and defend rather than dismantle society”, he stated.