The Federal Government has warned broadcast stations that operate in the country against lifting results of the forthcoming elections from social media.
It said the Independent National Electoral commission should be seen as the only official source of election results.
Is’haq Kawu gave this stern warning on behalf of the Federal Government recently.
His words, “No reports or results must be released by broadcast stations from the social media until the Independent National Electoral Commission must have released such results.
“The results of the 1983 elections were released before the commission released its results and this led to a lot of crises. This must not happen in 2019.”
“There are new entries into the Nigerian Broadcasting Code. The sixth edition of the code contains very strong entries about hate and dangerous speech and the consequence of broadcasting in the country.”
“We monitored live rallies and campaigns of the parties and in recent times, live political rallies of political parties have been laced with indecent and abusive language, name calling and vehement allegations and use of hate speech.
“For instance, on January 10, 2019, at the presidential campaign rally of the PDP broadcast by the AIT, the national chairman of the party accused INEC of rigging previous elections and threatened crisis if elections were rigged.
“Some of the excerpts were: ‘We want to warn INEC, all the previous elections you rigged and you escaped, the 2019 elections, you cannot escape unless you want to cause crisis in Nigeria. Let us warn Prof Yakubu; if you want to cause crisis in Nigeria, rig the elections. If you want peace, elections must be free and fair.’ That is from The PDP.
“At a live APC governorship rally held on Friday, January 3, 2019, and aired on the NTA, a stalwart of the APC, Rotimi Amaechi, was quoted as saying: ‘I will just continue to say the truth. The truth I will tell you is that they are telling Nigerians that Nigerians are hungry. Indeed, if Nigerians are hungry, if these people left money they stole, will Nigerians be hungry? Exactly the $2bn that they stole. At least, I know about that one, we will not be here today.’
“The party chairman also added: ‘You must remember that the last PDP government turned Plateau workers to slaves and so on and so forth.’
“The expressions in the excerpts captured, can be seen to be abusive and not decent for broadcast contrary to certain sections of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code: 525, 533.”
“So, based on the foregoing, the four main channels that have been broadcasting: the AIT, the TVC News, Channels TV and the NTA, are culpable and contravening the provisions of the Code on Political Broadcast in line with the provisions of Sections 524 of the Code.”
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