HURIWA says Lai Mohammed wants to instigate civil war
“The intermittent threats and impositions of unmerited and unconstitutional fines and other untoward administrative sanctions meted out on private broadcasting stations in Nigeria by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is breeding fascism, muzzling constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and ultimately promotes political killings, intolerance of opposing views and could imperil the sustenance of democracy and constitutionalism.”
The Rights group said the scheme of the head of the ethically challenged National Briadcasting Commission to stiffle the exercise of freedom of expression and his open,brazen and toxic attempts to control the media contents of Broadcasting houses is symptomatic of a failed state ruled by brute force but the Rights group said eternal vigilance is the price of liberty thereby tasking Nigerians to stand up, take steps legally to prevent the collapse of civil rule and constitutional democracy in Nigeria which is the objective of the current head of the NBC.
The aforementioned was the conclusion reached by the leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group:-Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) against the backdrops of unwarranted attacks of media pluralism, freedom of expression and other constitutional rights by the National Broadcasting Commission of Nigeria (NBC).
HURIWA described the NBC and the Information minister Lai Mohammed as the two most dangerous threats to the survival of civil rule in Nigeria just as the Rights group think the duo are agents of destabilisation and constitutionalism just as the Rights group warned the United Statesof America’s government to be wary of the distorted information it receives from Lai Mohammed considered as pne of the potent threats against civil rule and freedom of the press.
The Rights group also castigated the minister of information and culture, for instituting a culture of fascism, dictatorship through his recent diatribe against leading political opposition leader in Nigeria and Presidential Flagbearer of the resurgent labour party (LP), Mr. Peter Gregory Obi. HURIWA cautioned the mjnister of Information and Culture to stop overheating the polity and actively attempting to start off a civil war in Nigeria by his unguarded statements.
Warning that the combined threats targeting private television stations by the NBC and the dissemination of crass falsehoods and cheap propaganda against opponents of the ruling All Progressive Congress and those opposed to the outcome of the February 25th 2023 Presidential poll is capable of derailing democracy, HURIWA called on World leaders to call the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to order.
The Rights group recalled that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had vowed to close down broadcast stations airing programmes capable of undermining national security and peaceful co-existence.
The Director-General NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah, issued the warning at a meeting with broadcast stations on the coverage of the Presidential, National Assembly, Gubernatorial and state assembly elections.
“The NBC is giving its last warning to broadcast stations and will not hesitate to shut or revoke the license of any when convinced that its activities are capable of undermining the peaceful co-existence of the country.
“Any further breaches of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and Act will no longer be tolerated,’’ he warned.
However, HURIWA cited the following fundamental rights provisions to justify the right of all citizens to freedom of expression including Peter obi and Atiku Abubakar who are contesting the emergence of the APC’s Bola Ahmed Tinubu, thus: 34(1) Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly – (a)no person shall be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment; (b) no person shall he held in slavery or servitude; and (c)no person shall be required to perform forced of compulsory labour. 35 (1) Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure permitted by law. 39 (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference. 41(1) Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit therefrom. 42(1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:- (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or (b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.
(2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.
HURIWA challenged the television and radio stations coming under the dictatorial radar of the discredited National Briadcasting Commission to challenge the infractions of their constitutional rights as enshrined in section 22 of the Constitution before the court of competent jurisdictions to cut down the oppressive and negative tail of the fascist NBC.