The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) has warned that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), two regulatory agencies of broadcasting and print advertising respectively, are by default promoting violence and hate following their inability to sanction erring radio and television stations, industry players and groups who continuously breach extant laws and regulations governing activities of the agencies.
The campaign therefore challenged the NBC to make good its threat to wield the big stick against erring broadcast stations by applying its code to all industry players across board without fear or favour.
The APCPCO made this call following the assurances by the Director General of NBC to wield the big stick on erring broadcast stations that violate the code particularly when it comes to airing of political programmes under this political dispensation.
A statement by the Directorate of Media and Publicity of the APCPCO signed by Malam Garba Shehu, said as heartwarming as the words of the director-general of the broadcast regulatory body might be it must be matched with action if the NBC is not to be perceived as indirectly helping in promoting a culture of political violence in the country.
“The NBC has soon forgotten the role it played through its inaction against some television stations when they aired a dirty and false documentary on General Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the APC.
“The specific code that these television stations have contravened is Section 3.1.2 of the NBC Code which states that ‘materials/statements likely to incite or encourage the commission of a crime or lead to public disorder shall not be broadcast.”
This is a breach, which attracts severe penalty of suspension of license or outright withdrawal of the license of that station, but to the surprise of many industry observers and Nigerians, to date nothing has been done to the errant Stations,” the APCPCO said.
The APC campaign said such actions or inactions of the NBC call into question the neutrality of many government regulatory bodies especially in an election time like this where the incumbent president is on the ballot.
It condemned the seeming inability of various government regulatory bodies to sanction breaches by the Jonathan government, his ruling PDP and groups associated with them.
The APC campaign lamented that the situation is also the same with APCON, the regulatory body saddled with the responsibility of screening print adverts for publication and issuing certificate of clearance.
The APC campaign decried a situation where the PDP and its numerous agents acting under a blanket cover of immunity or impunity by-pass these steps and clearances to place their many abhorrent and hateful adverts in disregard of laid down laws and regulations.