Wednesday, December 1


The West Africa Media Lawyers Association, WAMELA, notes with concern the rising and persistent repression of the press in Nigeria using the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as the hangman.

In a statement made available to the The Daily Vendor in Abuja by its Public Relations Officer Mojirayo Ogunlana-Nkanga, WAMELA took a swipe on the NBC.

This is coming against the backdrop of the news report dated 26th of January, 2021, where it was reported that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) by a letter to media houses, issued a warning with respect to the factual crisis occurring in Western Nigeria between indigenes and herdsmen.

The content of the NBC letter states as follow:
“The National Broadcasting Commission wishes to bring to your attention emerging trends of national concern like the herdsmen crisis in Ondo and Oyo states and related issues which could spiral out of proportion if not properly handled…The commission, therefore, seizes this opportunity to admonish broadcasters on the need to exhibit professionalism and observe required caution in the coverage and presentation of the quit notice to herdsmen and related issues.”

The NBC reminded broadcasters of the rules governing coverage of crisis as well as the constitutional need to not only promote and protect the corporate existence of the country but the economic well-being of the Nigerian state.

READ ALSO  APC Chieftain begs Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu

It quoted Sections 5.4.1 (a b&f) and 5.4.3 of the broadcast code.

According to WAMELA “It is obvious that the NBC has once again, released its noose to hang over media houses to prevent them from disseminating information that every Nigerian is entitled to. There’s no doubt that this warning is a direct but subtle threat of censorship”

Continuimg the association states that “we are aware that over the years and more alarming in 2020, there was an increased censorship of the press from the NBC based on its amended Broadcasting Code which WAMELA has previously described as inconsistent with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution”‘

“We remind the Nigerian government of the importance of a free press especially in this day and age where information is key to survival and security. An independent press is one of the key foundations of a democracy. The protection of the press is fundamental for preventing secret government, authoritarianism and tyranny, which are all antithetical to a democracy””

The press also serves the essential role of allowing multiple voices to be heard and highlighting social problems which needs urgent solution.

READ ALSO  BREAKING: FG moves to reopen five airports, releases details

A free press indirectly contributes to human development by encouraging government’s responsiveness to public concerns.

The crises that are being reported in Oyo and Ondo States are of great concern to Nigerians and rather than for the government to address the issues by heeding the calls of its citizens, it seeks avenues to shut the people up and more dangerously, to shut their sources of information.

“This is highly unfortunate and WAMELA strongly condemns this trend. Where information is censored before dissemination, it becomes a huge threat to our already wobbly democracy in Nigeria. This, more or less, amounts to prior restraint which has been held in international courts to be clearly unconstitutional.
Globally, the press is recognised as the fourth estate of the realm in a democracy, and this is so because it plays a crucial role in balancing power in government”

Without this fourth estate, a democracy weakens and finally crumbles. It is also globally acknowledged that one of the core functions of the mass media is to inform the society on all ranges of issues, not even to the exclusion of national security issues. The mass media has a role to play in ensuring that all possible shades of opinions are given access to the media platform

READ ALSO  Ex-Army Chief slams political class over growing insecurity

It call on the National Assembly (NASS) to urgently protect the press and its integrity as there is an attempt by the executive arm to completely diminish its relevance in Nigeria. The NASS needs to take cognisance of the salient role the press plays in a democracy, to influence the political system for the good of all Nigerians.

WAMELA suggests that in the review of the Constitution, a provision should be inserted under section 39 of the 1999 constitution as follows:
“any law or regulation which seeks or abridges the freedom of speech or of the press is unconstitutional”
WAMELA therefore calls on the NBC to review the Broadcasting Code, which has become a tool for repression and suppression of the press.

The Nigerian government should be reminded that the Nigerian Constitution guarantees Nigerian’s rights to receive information. In this instance the news coming from Oyo state and Ondo are clearly necessary for Nigerians to be informed so they can take adequate caution in securing their lives and properties.

1 Comment

  • james balogun

    Turn your life around by getting the chance to meet with our Executive sugar mummies
    sugar daddies,gay and lesbian connections all over Nigeria,Benin Republic,Ghana, South Africa,UK,U.S.A,
    Dubai,Paris,Germany and some other countries, you are also entitled to contract opportunities,job offers in good reputable companies within Nigeria ,
    business packages,financial packages and loans offers for businesses
    by meeting our prestigious clients,who are highly rich and influential,powerful,connected,
    we have directors,C.e.o ,senators,managers,politicians,
    oil tycoon,big time Dubai and London based sugar mummies and daddies,we have ladies that owns two to three companies within one state and also ladies thatrun their business organization within
    overseas,so are you good in bed,do you have all it takes to partake in our service,we offered fast reliable service to you anywhere you are within the above
    mention countries
    ,our clients are highly connected and influential people within the society, so contact us now to get an instant hook-up today,
    PHONE NUMBERS/08145236851

    WHATSAPP NUMBER/+2348145236851


Kindly Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: