The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organization, APCPCO, on Thursday tasked the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria to sanction media organisations that print/ broadcast materials which tend to promote violence.
The campaign organization noted that the two regulatory bodies are saddled with the responsibility of screening print adverts for publication and issuing certificate of clearance.
Specifically, the APCPCO 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 favor.
The call came on the heels of the assurances by the Director General of NBC to wield the big stick on erring broadcast stations that violate the Code, particularly when it pertains to airing of political programmes under this political dispensation.
The Director, Media and Publicity of the APCPCO, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement issued in Abuja, said as heartwarming as the words of the DG of the broadcast regulatory body was, 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.
Shehu said, “The NBC has soon forgotten the role it played through its inaction against some TV Stations when they aired a dirty and false documentary on General Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the APC.
“The specific code that these TV 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 aired’.
“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 APC Campaign said such action or inaction of the NBC calls into question the neutrality of many government regulatory bodies especially in an election time like this, where the incumbent president is contesting.
Mr. Shehu lamented that the situation is also the same with the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, the regulatory body saddled with the responsibility of screening print adverts for publication and issuing certificate of clearance.
He also decried a situation where the Peoples Democratic Party 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 for laid down laws and regulations.