By Chimezie Godfrey
#TrackNigeria – The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to reconsider its position on the suspension of the license of Daar Communications PLC.
Daar Communications, the parent company of AIT television and Ray Power radio station was recently suspended for alleged violation of broadcast rules in some of its programmes.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), the Executive Director (CISLAC) in a statement on Friday urged the NBC to reconsider its decision on the suspension of the licence of Daar Communication, adding that allowing the suspension to linger may undermine press freedom.
“While we commend the Corporation for upholding its establishing mandate to sustain principles of equity and fairness in broadcasting content in the country, we unequivocally affirm the fundamental principles of Press Freedom that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely.
“We are worried that leaving the suspension to linger may undermine press freedom as media remains a vibrant tool in public enlightenment, information dissemination of both public and sectors’ policies, programmes and activities in Nigeria and beyond.
“We are not unaware of the media role in influencing public opinion, shaping political agenda, providing a link between the government and the people, while acting as the government watchdog in advancing good governance,” Rafsanjani said.
He also recalled the crucial importance of the media in the promotion of democracy and rule of law, adding that the media is indispensable for people to be informed and to effectively participate in a democracy.
“We call on the Corporation, as it works to promote equity and fairness in the nation’s broadcasting affairs, to urgently reverse its decision and allow the principles of press freedom and democracy to come to bear.
“We further encourage the media to maintain fairness, abide by professional ethics and ensure high moral standards in content development and presentation to the public,” he said.