Group asks NBC to withdraw fines on TV stations

*Says: ‘You’re muzzling free press’

The Network for Best Practice and Integrity in Leadership (NEBPRIL) has asked the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to desist from acts that will gag free press in the country.
NEBPRIL said this in reaction to the fines imposed by NBC on ARISE TV, Channels Television and the Africa Independent Television (AIT).
On Monday, the NBC sanctioned the television stations for “unprofessional coverage of the #EndSARS protests”.
In a statement on Tuesday, Victor Afam Ogene, chairman of the group and a former member of the house of representatives, said the NBC should withdraw the sanctions against the stations.
Ogene described NBC’s action as “an affront to the journalism profession”.
“The rationale for the sanctions, as announced by the NBC’s acting Director-General, Professor Armstrong Idachaba, does not sound plausible to us and in fact, to every sane Nigerian who followed the protest via the media channels while it lasted,” he said.
“We, therefore, view it as an attempt to muzzle free press and cow the media from informing the public about the goings-on in the society and to chiefly hold the government accountable to the people.
“Recently, the world witnessed #Blacklivesmatter protests in the United States of America occasioned by the unlawful execution of a citizen, George Flyod, by a police officer.
“Despite replaying footage gotten from the different sites of the protests, oftentimes from participants of the various marches, no station was fined for discharging their constitutional mandates of informing the members of the public.
“If indeed, Professor Idachaba was to do anything noble, he would have commended the Nigerian media for ensuring all-sides, all-angles coverage of the #EndSARS protests rather than imposing the infamous sanctions on the three TV houses.
“To this end, NEBPRIL calls on NBC to immediately withdraw the fines and also desist from acts that will gag free press and free speech in Nigeria.”




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