The Nigeria Union of Journalists on Tuesday called on the National Broadcasting Commission to be circumspect and exercise more restraint in dealing with perceived infringements by broadcast stations in the country.
The union was responding to the reported directive by the NBC to Channels TV to stop a major evening programme, Politics Today, after featuring the spokesperson of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Emma Powerful.
The National President of NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, in a statement titled, ‘NBC should exercise more caution’, demanded that the threat of N5m imposition on Channels TV was outrageous.
He said, “We call on the NBC to exercise more restraint in dealing with perceived infringements by broadcast stations in the country. We are specifically disturbed by the recent threat to suspend the broadcast licence of Channels Television station for hosting the spokesperson of the proscribed IPOB in a live interview programme.
“The fine imposed on Channels TV is outrageous and should be withdrawn immediately.
“While we do not intend to take issues with the NBC, we, however, caution that threats like this will only create unnecessary feuds in an already cracked society.”
Why FG suspended Channels TV programme – IPOB
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra on Tuesday said the Federal Governmental of Nigeria suspended the ‘Politics Today’ programme of Channels Television because the broadcast station, in that programme, gave it an opportunity to expose the lies on how security agents killed its Commander, Ikonso.
The proscribed group’s Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement read in part, “How many times has the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gunmi met with Fulani terrorists and Fulani bandits and the outcome of their parley aired on national televisions without NBC batting an eyelid? How many times has the Boko Haram leader, Shekau’s message and threats been aired uncensored on national television without NBC imposing any sanctions on NTA?”
In a related development, a group of public affairs analysts has called on the National Broadcasting Commission to rescind the decision to suspend a Channels Television programme, ‘Politics Today’.
The group, which made this call under the aegis of the Guild of Public Affairs Analysts of Nigeria, also asked the NBC to change its (commission) stance on the N5m fine against the television station.
GPAAN President Mr. Ayo Baje, in a statement on Tuesday condemned the action of the NBC. Baje said, “(GPAAN), views this action by the Federal Government through its regulatory agency, the National Broadcasting Corporation as one more example of the increasing intolerance of the government for diversity of thought and speech in our country.”