The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has accused some broadcast media outfits of allowing Nigerians to use their platform to castigate President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mohammed disclosed this at the 75th General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, BON, in Kano on Thursday.
He also lamented that broadcast media houses allowed some Nigerians to use their platforms to carry out divisive messages.
Mohammed urged broadcast stations to ensure that their platforms are used to serve both public and national interests, rather than the interest of a few naysayers and agents of destabilization.
According to Mohammed: “Today in Nigeria, some broadcast stations revel in lending their platforms to those whose stock-in-trade is to spew hate as well as angry and divisive rhetoric and misinformation. Someone went on national television to say that the army officer that was abducted from the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna on Aug. 24, 2021, had been killed, only for the officer to be rescued alive shortly after.
“Some broadcast stations lent their platforms to a very senior public official whose stock-in-trade is divisive rhetoric and unjustified castigation of Mr. President. Of course, we cannot forget how a television station reported erroneously that the Ecumenical Centre in Abuja was set ablaze by hoodlums during the EndSar protest, or how another television station reported, also erroneously, that a workman atop a bank building in Lagos was a sniper. But for providence, these false reports could have triggered an orgy of violence.
“Let us, therefore, resolve to use our platforms to serve both public and national interest, rather than the interest of a few naysayers and agents of destabilization. Let us harness the power of broadcasting to inform, educate and entertain our people in a positive way. Let us deny dead-enders the use of our various platforms. Let us remember that it is because we have a country that we can have broadcast stations.”
Mohammed, however, urged broadcasting outfits not to shut those critical of the Federal Government.
He said those preaching disunity, divisiveness, misinformation, and hate should not be allowed to use private and public broadcast stations to achieve their goals.
“Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we are not asking you to shut out those who are critical of the government or those who have opposing views. All we are saying is that agents of disunity, divisiveness, misinformation and hate should not be allowed to use private and public broadcast stations to achieve their goals.
“On our part, we will continue to partner with BON, which we consider a reliable ally, to keep the people adequately informed of the activities of the government, and also in the successful implementation of key projects like the Digital Switch Over,” he said
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