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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has come under attack for its reported suspension and fine of N5 million slammed on Channels Television over alleged violation of broadcasting code.
While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described it as draconian, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) accused the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of double standards in suspending Channels TV programme ‘Politics Today’ over an interview, on Sunday, it had with spokesman of IPOB, Emmanuel Powerful.
PDP on its part, said without prejudice to the issues raised against Channels Television, the reported hasty clampdown, without the benefit of caution, was suggestive of intolerance and high-handedness by the regulatory body.
Said the Party: “Our party is worried that such disposition could be counter-productive and heighten the already tensed situation in our nation at this critical time.
“The PDP, therefore, urges the NBC to review the punitive measure on the media house as well as a scale-up system-friendly measure that will ensure best practices in information dissemination in our country”.
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in its reaction via a statement issued on Monday described the National Broadcasting Commission’s (NBC) suspension of Channels TV programme ‘Politics Today’ over an interview, on Sunday, the broadcast station had with spokesman of IPOB, Emmanuel Powerful as double standard.
The full statement released Monday night reads:
Read the statement in full: “The Nigerian Guild of Editors condemns in strong terms the threat issued to Channels Television by the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, over an interview with the spokesperson of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Emmanuel Powerful.
“Powerful had featured on Channels programme “Politics Today” on Sunday April 25, 2021 , where he allegedly made inciting statements.
“The NBC in the letter ordered the immediate suspension of the programme.
“The Guild will not stand by and watch media houses being threatened by regulatory agencies in the country. Press freedom is threatened when media houses are made to operate in an atmosphere of fear .
“The Guild stands with Channels and will go to any length to defend press freedom in the country.
“The body of editors believes that the NBC is guilty of double standards because stations that carried Sheikh Gumi’s parley with terrorists in their camps, were not sanctioned by the commission.
“The NBC should jettison the practice of issuing threats to broadcast stations over matters that could easily be dealt with through dialogue.
“Democracy will be meaningless in Nigeria if press freedom is eroded”.