By NAN

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has cautioned broadcasters covering governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi to abide by the provisions of the Broadcasting Code, and other regulations guiding the broadcast of elections in Nigeria.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Director-General of NBC, Mr Charles Ebuebu on Tuesday in Abuja, ahead of the governorship election scheduled to hold Nov. 11, in the three states listed by the commission.

Ebuebu said the Commission has observed with deep concerns, how ethics have been thrown to the winds by Politicians, using broadcast media platforms.

“This is against the provisions of the Nigeria Code; Section 5 states 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 that Section 3.1.2 Promote human dignity, therefore, HATE SPEECH IS PROHIBITED.

“3.11.1(a) says, ensures that language or scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast

“3.11.1(b) says, 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) says, do 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,’’ Ebuebu said.

The NBC D-G further explained that section 5.3.3(j) stipulates 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.

He said that section 5.3.3(k) says, do not use any vote obtained at a polling station or from an exit poll to project or speculate on the chances of a candidate.

Ebuebu stressed that 5.3.3(l) says, relay election results or declaration of the winner only as announced by the authorised electoral officer for the election.

“5.3.4 provides that 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 coloration of partisanship by the official or the broadcaster.

“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.

“The Commission enjoins 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.

“Broadcasters are, therefore, expected to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality,’’ Ebuebu said. (NAN)

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