The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has ordered media homes to desist from divulging the main points of assaults by bandits and terrorists.
NBC gave the order in an announcement on Friday.
The assertion reads, “Headlines of most newspapers on daily basis are replete with security topics. While bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there is a need for caution as too much detail may have adverse implications on the efforts of our security officials who are duty-bound to deal with the insurgency.”
“Some of the matters even have ethnological coating thereby, pitching one part of the nation towards the opposite and leaving in Nigerians in each day hysteria.”
NBC implored broadcast stations to be guided by provisions of sections 5.4.1(f) and 5.4.3 of the NBC Code which stipulates that “the broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the divisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“In reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality. The commission, therefore, enjoins broadcasters to collaborate with the government in dealing with the security challenges by not glamourizing the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits, etc.”
Angry reactions have greeted the statement on social media.
On Facebook, Godwin Nwabueze wrote, “Look what useless and nothing-good-presidency and APC party has turned this blessed and beautiful nation too.
“How can you be ruling human beings like animals? Aww! So we don’t have the right to speak up again including the media.”
Joe Abuajah said, “Gagging the media is major assignment for this government. In 2015, they commenced it stylishly, and to them, all the needful underground job, has been successfully concluded.“
Another Nigerian, identified as Tochukwu Idigo, lamented, “Is this really a country with constitution or just a settlement without objectives? I’m tired mehn!!!! One cannot even hope for anything good in this contraption.”
Several different Nigerians additionally shared their views on Twitter.
@damolaandre wrote, “What is the ratio of the victims whose identity are reported and the ones not reported? What is news reporting if the message is going to be edited? It is better we get it as it is so that we understand what we are up against.”
@breezy_dh wrote, “No freedom of speech in Nigeria now!”