Stop intimidating journalists, HURIWA tells NBC

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has cautioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to desist from intimidating and threatening journalists and broadcast stations with sanctions.

NBC’s Director General, Balarabe Shehu llelah, had warned Arise Television for failing to restrain guests from defaming President Bola Tinubu and other persons and political parties, especially on the station’s “The Morning Show.”

But the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, yesterday, warned that the regulatory body, should allow television and radio stations to breathe.

Onwubiko told the NBC to take cognisance of the fact that Nigeria constitution is supreme and bigger than any public office holder, and that the NBC cannot be seen attempting to revoke the constitutional freedom enshrined in Chapter 4 of the constitution, including the freedom of information.

He said NBC’s persistent attempt to muzzle the exercise of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians, including attempting to force broadcasting stations to start operating as if Nigeria is under the North Korean type of absolute tyranny by not featuring critics or Nigerians of divergent views different from those in government, must stop.

Also, he accused the NBC of working with reactionary elements to scuttle democracy and institute absolute monarchical type of governance in the 21st century Nigeria.

According to him, the nation’s law books were replete with media laws on defamation, stressing that President Tinubu could exercise his fundamental human rights as a citizen to institute a suit against any station he thinks has defamed him.

In conclusion, he posited that as president, Tinubu must be subjected to the highest public scrutiny possible and cannot hide under the privacy laws to escape critical questions concerning the academic credentials he tendered to run for public office.



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