The federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari at several times has stated its commitment to wage a war against hate speech and other form of messages that poses a threat to the unity of the country, It also promised to prosecute whoever is found guilty irrespective of their status in the society. The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has been at the forefront of implementing this directive and has sanctioned several media stations across the country for not adhering to the stipulated broadcasting code against hate speech and other broadcasting regulations that seeks to sanitize the airwaves.
It’s in lieu of this that the NBC shut down the Ekiti State Broadcasting Services for its unprofessional conduct during the July 14, 2018 gubernatorial elections in the state which has generated mixed reactions in the state. However, in a new twist of event that has cast an aspersion on the federal government fight against hate speech, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission Mr. Modibbo Kawu who himself has led the charge against government-defined hate speech threw professionalism away when he engaged in a charade of character assassination against the Senate President in a Whatsapp group of Northern editors.
In the group, it was reported that Mr. Kawu described the political influence of the senate president on Kwara state as more of a spiritual one as the senate president has imposed kleptocratic hegemony on the state which the citizens continue to support. Kawu also placed some allegations of cult killings in the state on the door of the senate president. The comment in the Whatsapp group caught the attention of many individuals that cautioned Mr. Kawu for such comment.
It is important to state at this juncture that what Mr. Kawu did is not alien to the NBC alone as several officials under this administration has engaged in hate speech and fake news that has been reported especially via the social media but they’ve not received the necessary punishment for it. It is important the ministry of information call Kawu to order to protect the sanctity of the NBC while other public officials should learn to display professionalism in public communication.
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