Home » Tinubu Continues Buhari’s Media Tensions, Warns Arise News

Tinubu Continues Buhari’s Media Tensions, Warns Arise News

by Adenike Adeodun

Four months after Bola Tinubu’s inauguration as Nigeria’s president, his administration echoes predecessor Muhammed Buhari’s approach to media scrutiny. The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) recently issued a stern warning to Arise TV following remarks made by guests on two of the station’s programs.

On October 5 and 6, guests Dele Farotimi and Kenneth Okonkwo of the Labour Party spoke on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ and ‘Newsday.’ The administration labeled these remarks as “unguarded provocation” against the three arms of government and President Tinubu. However, the NBC’s notice, signed by Director General Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, did not specify which comments prompted the warning.

According to a report by People’s Gazette, the regulatory body’s notice advised Arise News to employ a “delay mechanism” as per Section 5.5.6 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to prevent potential controversial content. It stressed the station’s liability for any breach, urging them to select their guests carefully.

The notice highlighted Farotimi’s comments against Nigeria’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches and President Tinubu. Furthermore, it mentioned derogatory on-air remarks by Kenneth Okonkwo, the Labour Party’s spokesperson.

Arise TV, no stranger to the NBC’s scrutiny faced penalties during Buhari’s term for alleged broadcasting code violations. In October 2020, the station, alongside two others, received a N3 million fine each for their #EndSARS protest coverage. In November 2022, a N2 million fine followed Arise TV’s report on an INEC investigation involving presidential candidate Tinubu. Another fine came in February 2023 for covering a broadcast that ridiculed Tinubu’s health.

As the Tinubu regime tightens its grip on media narratives, the role of independent journalism becomes increasingly crucial in ensuring a transparent, accountable democracy.

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