TEXT OF SPEECH BY DG, NBC, KAWU AT THE KANO CDS MAMBAYYA HOUSE MEETING ON POLITICAL BROACASTS
- December 14, 2017
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TEXT OF SPEECH BY DIRECTOR GENERAL, NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION (NBC), IS’HAQ MODIBBO KAWU, AT THE WORKSHOP ON SANITIZING POLITICAL BROADCASTING IN KANO STATE, ORGANIZED BY THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION (NBC) AND THE CENTER FOR DEMOCRATIC STUDIES, MAMBAYYA HOUSE, KANO, THURSDAY, 14TH DECEMBER, 2017; MAMBAYYA HOUSE, KANO.
On behalf of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), I will like to thank the community of the Centre for Democratic Studies of the Bayero University, Kano, located in the haloed grounds of Mambayya House, here in the Gwamaja Quarters of Kano, for hosting this very important workshop. A few months ago, I received a call from our dear brother and friend, Professor Haruna Wakili. He was very worried about the manner that political broadcasts were being conducted on radio stations in Kano. He felt that the Nigeria Broadcasting Code was being regularly flouted, and there was the need to do something about it. His call came at a point when, inside the NBC, we were also analysing the trend of violations of the Code, as they regularly appeared in the weekly Broadcast Monitoring Reports, that our Zonal Directors filed from all over Nigeria.
In response to the patterns of violations and the sanctioning regime within the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, we decided that the NBC must call our licensees to order; get them to appreciate the importance of adherence to the letter and spirit of the Code, as well as underline the patterns of Hate and Dangerous Speech, that had become central to some of the content of programming in several radio stations, especially in the Kaduna Zone, which comprises of stations in Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states. So on the 21st of August, 2017, we held our first workshop in Kaduna; and the second one held on the 26th of October here in Kano. Today’s gathering is a major follow-up, to reinforce the importance of the process and to further deepen the enlightenment of our colleagues, about their responsibilities.
In a democratic society, political broadcasting is a very important platform of enlightenment. It offers the opportunities for the citizenry to appreciate the dynamics of the political process; helps to explore the general patterns of political discourse; presents the various contending platforms of political parties and individual political actors. These can assist in making vital choices in the contestation for political power. But there is an underlining assumption to this; it is assumed that the political broadcaster operates strictly within the laws of broadcasting as well as the ethical imperatives of journalism. Where there is disrespect for the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the ethics of journalism; or where broadcast stations become suborned to various interests, especially in a politically dynamic environment as we have in Kano, then we can be headed for serious trouble! It is precisely to ensure that broadcast stations; broadcasters and especially those responsible for political broadcasting, understand the critical responsibility that they hold, for the democratic health of society, that we are holding the various workshops.
I am very glad, that the Bayero University Kano’s Centre for Democratic Studies has also appreciated the importance of the process and the danger that we face, with the near Hobbesian ‘State of Nature’, in the political broadcasting tradition in Kano, and have accepted that we must do something about it. That is why we have come together here in Mambayya House, Kano. And what a place to hold our session! Afterall, this is the residence of one of the greatest political leaders of the 20th Century in Nigeria: the radical and inimitable Malam Aminu Kano. A man of outstanding political and moral courage, who dedicated his life to the creation of a society based on deep-rooted political processes that provided social justice to the mass of our people; and an outstanding opponent of imperialism and the most negative manifestations of feudal oppression. Malam Aminu Kano was a man of very deeply-held convictions and his inspiring examples have largely influenced the patterns of politics here in Kano in particular, and Northern Nigeria in general. I do hope that those who conduct political broadcasting today, would draw vital lessons from the examples laid by heroes like Malam Aminu Kano, and apply them to help enrich political broadcasting in today’s context. We should present the various contending political platforms in manners that assist the people to make enlightened political choices. But we cannot and must NEVER allow political broadcasting to degenerate into avenues of spewing hate, that can endanger the political and democratic health of our society. This is because the National Broadcasting Commission will not sit by, and allow the broadcaster to flout the Nigeria Broadcasting Code! And as we move closer to the political season that will lead to the 2019 elections, our colleagues have to become even more aware of the imperatives to operate strictly by the rules!
This collaborative project with the Centre for Democratic Studies will certainly go a long way to helping us sanitize political broadcasting in Kano State. I want to thank Professor Haruna Wakili and his colleagues for this endeavour.
Thank you very much for your attention!