June 19, 2021

N5m Fine on Info Radio, an attack on Media- NUJ

The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ has described as regrettable the fine of N5 million imposed by the National Broadcasting Organisation (NBC) on Nigeria Info Radio for an alleged hate speech.

In a press statement by the NUJ National President, Chris Isiguzo, the union said the fine is outrageous and an act of impunity against the media and called on the Federal Government to end the impunity of all crimes against journalists and the media.

The apex body of the pen profession noted with displeasure how for several years now, Nigeria has continued to record some of the highest levels of violence targeted against journalists and the media, saying the statistics are unacceptable to the Nigeria Union of Journalists.

“The reckless decision to impose a fine on Media broadcast stations for perceived hate speeches negates the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the safety of journalists. The resolution which proclaims November 02 of each year as the international day to end impunity for crimes against journalists. Promotes the safety of journalists, media organisations and protection for media equipment in order to enhance transparency in societies and keep citizens well informed.

“Clamping down on the media is a sign of weak democracy and a restive government and it is instructive to note that a free and open press is part of the bedrock of democracy and development, and which should be encouraged and sustained.

“While we are committed to the campaigns against attacks and impunity on the press, we reiterate our commitment to press freedom and the pursuit of justice and protection for Journalists in the country especially in this Covid 19 times”, the statement added.

The members of the fourth estate appealed to all stakeholders to join hands in the war against impunity on the press as they called on the NBC to withdraw the offensive fine forthwith and engage stakeholders properly in finding better ways and means of dealing with hate speech and fake news.

The Union vows to continue to advocate for measures on safety and security of Journalists and press freedom in the country.

Recall that the Nigeria Broadcasting Organization, NBC had recently slammed a fine of N5 million on Nigeria Info Radio over what they described as an “unprofessional conduct” for providing their platform for Dr. Mailafia Obadiah, to promote what they called an unverifiable and inciting views that could encourage or incite crime and public disorder.