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May 30, 2024
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Freedom of Expression: NBC Partners Gidan Yanci to Clean Up Political Broadcasts, Promote Respectful Discourse

By Aminu Abdullahi Ibrahim

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has stretched a hand of partnership to Gidan Yanci Fellows with an aim of imploring media outlets to avoid promoting hate speech and derogatory statements in political programs.

PRIME TIME NEWS gathered that the collaboration between the Commission and Gidan Yanci will gear towards continuous awareness raising among political presenters and critics.

Adamu Salisu, the head of the NBC’s Kano zonal office, emphasized this during a meeting with representatives of the Freedom of Expression team, part of the Gidan Yanci fellowship program, at his office on Tuesday.

He explained that the political program, initially designed to prevent physical altercations and political thuggery, now sees participants turning frustration into personal attacks rather than engaging in physical confrontations.

Over time, expressing political views on these programs has devolved into hate speech, with some media stations providing a platform for such content.

“We are governed by the Nigerian Broadcasting Codes, and all radio stations possess a copy. Our role is to uphold these codes, currently in their sixth edition. The seventh edition, with new principles, will be launched this year,” he stated.

Adamu commended the Gidan Yanci Fellowship program for reform efforts in Kano’s political programming and expressed satisfaction with their work, aiming to educate political critics about the dangers of hate speech.

“They must understand that unverified statements or opinions could result in imprisonment. I am pleased that the public now recognizes their right to legally challenge defamatory statements. I hope this awareness extends not only to individuals but also to the media outlets where such statements are made,” he added.

Salisu noted that, aside from political interference, a court ruling preventing NBC from imposing fines on media stations has been a significant obstacle in addressing code violations.

Furthermore, Salisu clarified that the NBC lacks the authority to prosecute politicians who make derogatory comments; their jurisdiction is limited to media stations. The NBC has been issuing warnings to those breaching its regulations.

On behalf of the Freedom of Expression Team, Aminu Abdullahi Ibrahim pledged full support to the NBC in achieving its objectives. He expressed delight at the NBC’s willingness to collaborate in effecting positive changes in political programs.

PRIME TIME NEWS reports that the fellows are producty of a non-governmental organizaton known as GIDAN YANCI. They were trained and equipped with capacities in thematic areas such as ‘Freedom of Expression,’ ‘Political Participation,’ and ‘Governance Reforms,’ to drive national-level democratic reforms within their respective communities.

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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