By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-As the National Broadcasting Commission marks its 25th anniversary, stakeholders have urged the commission to enforce stringent punishment on Broadcast stations that promote hate speeches in any form.
Speaking on Thursday at the NBC 25th Anniversary and 3rd Annual Lecture,the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed urged the NBC to ensure that broadcast stations propagating hate speeches are put to check before they set Nigeria on Fire.
The Minister who noted that hate speeches are detrimental to the progress of the nation, urged NBC to redouble its efforts in discharging its mandates by sanctioning erring stations to serve as deterrent to others, adding that NBC cannot afford to do any thing less and cannot afford to fail the nation.
Also speaking, the Special Guest of Honour, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad III who commended the leadership of NBC for the progress being made,tasked NBC to consider how to mete out real punishment on broadcast stations that defaults in the area of hate speech.
He said; “NBC should consider how to punish, real punishment of defaulting broadcast stations so that people will know that you don’t only regulate but also punish. It will kick out impunity and make them have a rethink of what to air in their stations and also learn their lessons to ensure a peaceful nation”.
While noting that freedom of speech as a right should not be used to violate other people’s right, he emphasized the urgent need for the political class and religious leaders to develop collective sense of value to ensure collective survival instead of promoting hate speech.
According to him; “As the horn for support in the political hemisphere intensifies, there is a tendency for hate speech to increase. Hate speech is borne out of hatred which begets hatred and no human society can live under hatred. As leaders, you have the responsibility to banish hate speech and hatred from the polity”.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General NBC, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu said that NBC has grown exponentially to become a major force in the African continent and has led the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.
He noted that though there were difficulties in the onset, the NBC was able to surmount it, adding that as NBC is celebrating its 25th anniversary, he is the chief celebrant.
The NBC 25th Anniversary which coincided with the 3rd Annual Lecture had the theme “On Cosmopolitanism: Nigeria Ethnic Politics and the Communication of Hate”.