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Nigerian Broadcasting Commission Makes U-Turn, Asks Media Houses To Report Terrorist Attacks, Violations




The clarification came after the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project had threatened to institute a lawsuit against the commission.


The National Broadcasting Commission has denied gagging the media or requesting that it should stop reporting details of terrorist attacks in the country. 

The clarification came after a civil organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project had threatened to institute a lawsuit against the commission if the media gag order was not reviewed. 

SERAP, however, tweeted on Monday that the NBC had alienated itself from such directive. The tweet reads, “Media gag order on terrorist attacks: In response to our letter, the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC] has stated that, ‘The NBC letter of July 7, 2021 did not direct stations to stop reporting details of terrorist attacks and other violations across the country.”

The NBC letter just received, reads in part: ‘The NBC was not a party to or in any way involved in the events that led to the suspension of Twitter by the Federal Government. Our regulatory powers do not extend to Social Media Platforms.’”The Commission enjoins SERAP to work with the Commission to expand media space in Nigeria instead of engaging the Commission in litigations.” 

Meanwhile, the NBC, in a letter dated July 7, had ordered television and radio stations to advise Nigerians they bring as guests and analysts not to talk on divisive or secessionist views during their programmes. 

The NBC had also warned them to desist from revealing “details” of the victims of bandits, terrorists and kidnappers in their reports. This was made known in a statement titled, “Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A Need For Caution,” which was signed by the Director, Broadcast Monitoring, Francisca Aiyetan, on behalf of the new Director-General of the Commission, Balarabe Ilelah. 

Reacting at that time, SERAP had warned that a failure on the part of the government to call the NBC to order would attract a lawsuit instituted against the body.