The Muhammadu Buhari-led government has disclosed that it will sanction the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Trust TV for airing respective documentaries which, according to the country’s information minister, is “glorifying and fueling terrorism, banditry in Nigeria”.
Lai Mohammed, the country’s information minister, disclosed this to journalists on Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Abuja.
Mohammed said the federal government is “aware of the unprofessional documentary by the BBC Africa Eye; in which interviews were granted to bandit warlords and terror gangs, thereby promoting terror in the country”.
Consequently, he condemned the BBC for not upholding the same standards and tenets as they would have done in the UK.
In addition, the minister berated Trust TV for using its platform to grant interview to a bandit kingpin, Shehu Rekeb; noting that its action was promoting the activities of terrorists. Trust TV is owned by Media Trust Ltd., operators of Daily Trust Newspapers.
According to him, both platforms by their actions have become accomplices to terrorists and bandits in the name of reporting. Further, he said the appropriate regulatory body was already looking at the infractions; while disclosing that appropriate sanctions would be meted to both platforms.
“There is a regulatory body regulating broadcasting which is the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC)…They are also aware of these two incidents.
“They are looking at which part of the Broadcasting Code that has been violated by the BBC and Trust TV.
“Media is the oxygen that terrorists and bandits use to breathe.
“When otherwise reputable platforms like BBC can give their platform to terrorists showing their faces as if they are Nollywood stars, it is unfortunate. I want to assure them that they will not get away with it. Appropriate sanctions will be meted to both the BBC and the Trust TV.
The minister said that the fact that the BBC is a foreign medium and not under NBC regulations, notwithstanding, sanctions will be meted to the medium.
“Let me assure you that they will not get away with the naked glorification of terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
“If they are not registered in Nigeria and they are only sending their signals to Nigeria, we will ask them to stop sending the signals.
“I know that during the IRA days, the BBC will not dare do what they are doing now in Nigeria.
“It is because there is a country called Nigeria that they are operating here,’’ he said.
Equally important, Mr Mohammed stated that the federal government would not tolerate any attempt by any media organisation to use its platform to set the country on fire.