The federal government has directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction any radio or television station that broadcasts hate speech.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, issued the directive in Abuja Thursday at the annual lecture series of the NBC and the 25th anniversary of the commission.
The minister said that the directive was part of efforts to stem the growing tide of hate speech in the country.
“As a matter of fact, the challenges facing the NBC have never become more daunting, considering the increasing propensity of some radio and television stations across the country to turn over their platforms to the purveyors of hate speech.
“It is the responsibility of the NBC to put these broadcast stations in check before they set the country on fire.
“As the NBC celebrates what is a milestone in its existence, I urge the commission to redouble its efforts in discharging its mandate.
“The NBC must ensure strict adherence to the broadcasting code, and errant stations must be sanctioned accordingly to serve as a deterrent.
“The nation looks up to the NBC to restore sanity to the broadcast industry. The commission cannot afford to do any less at this critical time. It cannot afford to fail the nation,” he said.
He recalled that the Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which at least 800,000 people were killed in 100 days, was fuelled by inflammatory comments by a radio station – Radio Television Livres des Milles Collines (RTLMC).
He charged the NBC not to allow the purveyors of hate speech to lead Nigeria on the path of destruction.
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