Ahead of November 11 Kogi governoship election, the Kogi State government has assured the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of the readiness of the government to support the Commission in ensuring that broadcast stations uphold the rules aimed at ensuring credible poll ahead of the Governorship election in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo made this known while speaking at a sensitization program organised by the Commission to sensitize broadcast stations in the state on their roles at ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
The Information Commissioner charged broadcast stations to remain committed to making their platforms available for all political parties and candidates in order to create a level playing ground for all.
He said: “This enlightenment is coming at the right time, at a time that Kogi is preparing to elect her next Governor. There is no better time than now to come together as stakeholders to remind broadcast stations of their response to the people.”
“A couple of days ago, I listened to stories about candidates of the opposition parties on the state owned Confluence Radio. I was satisfied because it is the station of the people of Kogi State regardless of political, ethnic or religious inclinations.”
“We cannot have a free, fair and credible poll until all the stakeholders find a meeting point to agree on standards and fairness. We have set the template in Kogi State and others can come on board.”
“On behalf of the Kogi State Government, I wish to assure all of us that the State Government remains committed to ensuring free, fair and credible poll come November 11, 2023”.
He commended the NBC for “raising the red flag” when necessary, saying “the broadcast industry must play a crucial role in enlightening the people”.
Also, the Commissioner accused the opposition of being behind the recent “vandalization of the broadcast station of the State at Ochaja”, charging the Police and other security agencies to ensure “perpetrators are brought to book”.
“The people must know that broadcast corporation are partners of Government in public enlightenment and sensitization.”
“It is senseless and a matter of politics taken too far for political actors to vandalize a broadcast station. We call on the Police to ensure that those behind the insane act are brought to book”.
Earlier at the event the Director General of the Commission, Mal. Balarabe Shehu Ilela who was represented by the Director, Broadcast Monitoring at the NBC, Mrs Francesca Aiyetan said the Commission is prepared as always to ensure broadcast stations operates according to the rules in the interest of Nigeria.
She said ethnic and religious profiling are unacceptable and the the Commission will always rise up to the occasion in defending the ethics of broadcasting.
On her part, the Zonal Director of the NBC, Pauline Ehusani said the Commission must be alive to her gatekeeping roles in order to maintain sanity in the industry.
The Sensitization was attended by the Commissioner of Police in the State, the INEC Resident Electoral Commission, the leadership of the NUJ and other stakeholders.