The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has rolled out new regulations for live political broadcasts in addition to the laid down regulations in the fifth edition of its Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
In a letter to all Nigerian broadcasting stations dated May 30, 2014, the NBC directed them to notify it in writing, at least 48 hours, before transmitting a political programme live.
The letter also asked Nigerian broadcast stations to conform to the provisions of the NBC Code in all their political broadcasts and take their social responsibility requirements seriously.
The Commission issued the new directive because it “noted with worry the increasing cases of abuse of political programmes as the country journeys toward 2015, such that contents that threaten the unity and peace of the country are transmitted.” The Commission stated in the letter that it appreciates the importance of political enlightenment programmes to democratic advancement but can however “no longer tolerate the repeated abuse currently observed with this genre of programme, particularly, inciting, provocative and highly divisive comments frequently served to the public, as live political broadcasts.”
It reminded the stations that they will bear full responsibility for their transmissions.
The memo was signed by Chris Okoyomoh on behalf of the management and has received severe knock from stakeholders who view it as an attempt at censorship.