FREEDOM OF SPEECH: ‘You will be punished if you insult, President, Governors, Senators, others in Nigeria’

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
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The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Thursday said it would commence punishment for any broadcast station that violates any of its code.

It warned that all broadcast stations should be guided by the ethics and code of the profession.

Citing the provisions of the Broadcasting Code: Section 3.1.: Professional Rules: 3.1.1: which states that “No broadcast shall encourage or incite to crime, lead to public disorder or hate, be repugnant to public feelings or contain an offensive reference to any person or organization, alive or dead or generally be disrespectful to human dignity.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

And code: 3.1.19: The broadcast shall not transmit content that denigrates the social norms, values and culture of the society”, Chibuike Ogwumike, zonal director of the NBC Lagos office, in his letter to newsmen, seized the opportunity to warn against messages that ‘insult’ Nigerian leaders.

His words: “Monitoring activities indicate that in the recent time, some broadcast stations have abdicated their editorial responsibilities such that guests and callers on programmes abuse and insult leaders and those in authority freely and without caution.

“To denigrate our elders and leaders in abusive terms is not our culture. We respect our leaders as a positive cultural value.

“We expect Broadcasters, especially anchors to show professionalism in the handling of programmes such that guest or callers that exhibit such tendency are professionally handled.

“The recourse to abusing, denigrating and insulting the President, Governors, MPs and other leaders does not show us as cultured people.”

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