Friday, October 21, 2022: The Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) condemns the closure of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Pride FM, Gamji TV, Gamji FM and Al Umma Tv for allegedly breaking ‘some journalism law’.
The Zamfara State government on 15th October through the State Security Council ordered the closure of five media houses in Gusau, the state capital for allegedly broadcasting the campaign event of the governorship candidate of the opposition, People’s Democratic Party.
The affected media houses include the government-owned Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN)’s Pride FM and privately owned stations including Gamji TV, Gamji FM and Al Umma Tv.
The group, therefore, calls on the Zamfara State Government to immediately reverse its pronouncement on the closure of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Gamji TV, Gamji FM and Al Umma TV.
The media organizations discharged the duty as prescribed by the Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution and the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission Code. Section 5.3 Subsection 3[A, C and D] of the Code states that,
‘’A Broadcaster shall:
a. carry out its civic responsibility of broadcasting all aspects of political enlightenment.
c. In adherence to the principles of pluralism, accord equal airtime to all political parties or views, with particular regard to the amount of time and belt, during political campaign periods;
d. regularly announce that every Political Party is entitled to equitable air-time during political campaign periods’’.
As Nigeria approaches its election period, it is the right of the media to inform the masses of political activities and the NBC Act has granted broadcast the right to discharge that duty.
CWPPF calls on the Zamfara State government to reverse its decision and lift ban on the affected media houses and also urges security agencies to stop restricting staff of affected stations from performing their legitimate duties.
It is disappointing to see that state actors who are vested with the responsibility of protecting the ideal of Press Freedom are the ones perpetrating acts that violate freedom of the Press.
The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF)is a group of media and civil society organizations committed to upholding democracy and good governance by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, freedom of expression and press freedom.
OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative
Daily Trust Newspaper
Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism
Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID)
African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
Civic Media Lab
Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
International Press Centre (IPC)
International Press Institute, Nigeria
Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
HEDA Resources Centre.