The Buhari regime has fired yet another warning to broadcasters across Nigeria, saying they should tread carefully with their coverage of insecurity.
The directive by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) came a few weeks after the government said broadcasters should not report issues that will embarrass the government.
“Headlines of most Newspapers on a daily basis are replete with security topics,” NBC said in a July 7 circular to broadcast stations published on Friday. “While bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there is a need for caution as too many details may have an adverse implication on the efforts of our security officials who are duty-bound to deal with the insurgency.”
The regulator said broadcasters should only report worsening security crises across the country along a set of angles.
“Not glamourising the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits etc.
“Advising guests and/or analysts on programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their point.
“Not giving details of either the security issues or victims of these security challenges so as not to jeopardise the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers and other security agents.”
It also warned broadcasters not to “transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the divisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“In reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.”
It was not immediately clear whether or not the stations have started complying with the directive.