As the campaigns for 2019 general elections commences, the Board Chairman, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Mallam Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, has argued that politicians are the ones behind nearly all the hate speeches hence they promote it.
Bilbis, a former Minister, decried that, Nigerians seems not to have learnt anything from the mistakes of previous elections, hence according to him, available signs showed that nothing has really changed especially, as regards objective media coverage.
Speaking in a key note address in Sokoto on Monday at a 2 day workshop organized by NBC with the theme, “Coverage of 2015 Elections: Challenges, Regulatory Framework and Way forward for More Democratic Society”, Mallam Bilbis said, Nigerian media show high interest in conflict related issues more than development contents.
Bilbis who warned that Nigerians must not allow themselves to be used by politicians for parochial gains, added that, all the maladies that greeted 2015 general elections are still very evident in the country.
He listed some of the maladies to include, excessive speculations and rumours in coverage and reportage. Lack of issue based political discourse leading to personal attacks on individuals rather than scrutiny of track records of candidates.
Others according to him are, denial of access to opposition by broadcast stations, misinformation from media which promoted negative reactions. Abandonment of NBC code by broadcast stations, journalists acting as media consultants or public relations advisers to candidates and political parties as well.
Bilbis however noted the most painful one to be the hate speech which he said, such harsh words are allowed in traditional media time and space all over the zones of Nigeria as politicians are promoting the trend.
On his part, Professor Danjuma Gambo said complete eradication of hate speech might be possible hence according to him, it’s the society that gives birth to hate speech.
“Hate speech is part of human being. There will be no end to it so long as human beings exist”.
Professor Danjuma however admonished relevant regulators to apply scientific intellectual prowess in dealing with the menace.
He further accused the NBC of naturally being a stooge of any government of the day hence making it nearly impossible to overcome the challenge.
“Hate speech is not the only problem in Nigeria. Funding, denial of access to opposition by broadcast stations, quacks masquerading as practitioners using the social media are also other dangerous challenge ahead of 2019 general elections.