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Just in: NBC gives final warning to Ekiti State Radio over breaches in broadcasting code

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…As Fayose claims being shot at by Police on Wednesday at a PDP rally

Barely 24 hours after giving general broadcasting precautionary measures on how best to avoid the full weight of the law in discharging their duties before and during the upcoming guber elections in Ekiti State, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has raised alarm, saying “Monitoring reports available to the NBC indicate that ahead of the 2018 Gubernatorial Election the Ekiti Radio has become highly unprofessional and dangerously partisan, especially in its reportage of the democratic process in Ekiti”.

The Commission in a statement, recalled that “it had earlier had cause to query the stations General Manager who is also doubling as the spokesman of the Ayo Fayose campaign organization, in breach of Section 5.2.18of the Broadcasting Code,” which averred inter-alia “While a broadcast producer may interact with politicians in the course of his professional duties, this shall not be such, as to lead to the belief, that he is either a member or sympathizer of any political party”.

NBC noted that the Ekiti Radio Station has also consistently refused to balance its political programmes as it often patronize the State Governor and his party alone which is in breach of Section 7.6.8; which further provides that “All broadcasters shall give equal access to all Registered political parties or candidates on their facilities”.

The most recent infraction is the broadcast by the station inciting the citizens of Ekiti State not to welcome the President to the state.  We find this as a breach of Section 5.2.7of the Code and 5.2.8.

NBC while relying on Section 5.2.7; which provides that “A broadcaster shall, in using political material for news, avoid taking inflammatory and divisive matter in its provocative form,” also cited Section 5.2.8: which makes it clear that “In adherence to the principles of pluralism, equal airtime shall be provided to all political parties or views, with particular regard to the amount of time and belt, during political campaign periods”.

Accordingly, NBC noted that “It has therefore reprimanded the station in very strong terms and shall impose further necessary sanctions”.

The terse statement signed personally by the DG, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, also warned that further breach will attract stiffer sanctions as the Commission continues to monitor closely for strict compliance.

It would be recalled that ahead of the July 14, 2018 guber elections, the Police on Wednesday afternoon dispersed crowd belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had gathered to be addressed by the Governor, Dr. Ayo Fayose.

In his anger-laden complaint to the press, he alleged being man-handled and even shot at by the Police, but Police brass who led the dispersal of the crowd claimed that the gathering crowd was dispersed to avoid breakdown of law and order.

However, Fayose queried why the Police will swoop and disperse a campaign crowd when electioneering campaign period had not elapsed.

Electoral as amended provides that campaigns for elections are considered ended not less than 24 hours to every election.

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