By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah,
Coalition of Civil Societies for Police Reform and National Unity have condemned the role played by some television stations in the country during the ENDSARS protests in Lagos recently.
According to the group, broadcasting is a creative medium characterized by code of ethics, professionalism, as a veritable tool to educate, inform, entertain the society must be deployed positively to enhance peace, security and National development.
Comrade James Okoronkwo, National Coordinator and Prince Mike Ekamon Secretary in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said that the Nigeria broadcasting code is the grand norm regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria and was collectively produced by the NBC,the broadcast stations and all the stakeholders in Nigeria and Broadcast stations must be regulated to ensure that they adhere to the general principles of legality, best professional standards and most importantly the Nigeria broadcasting code.
Following,the EndSARS protests and the unprofessional coverage of the incident by Arise News Channel,Channels Television and Africa Independent Television (AIT) in Lekki,the group condemned the trio for violating broadcasting codes for broadcasting footages obtained on the Lekki shooting by soldiers from unverified and unauthenticated social media sources.
In a press statement made avaliable to journalists and signed by the national coordinator, Comrade James Okoronkwo .
The group condemned Arise News Channel,Channels Television and Africa Independent Television (AIT) for escalating the anger that triggered the violence which culminated in the wanton destruction by hoodlums of public and private property valued at over 1 trillion naira in Lagos last week.
The group lampooned the errying broadcasting stations for breaching section 5.6.9 of the Nigeria broadcasting code which states that the broadcaster shall be held liable for any breach of the code emanatng from the use of material from User Generated Sources .
The group maintained that the National Broadcasting Commission is justified by sanctioning the three broadcasting stations noting that “that the orgy of violence unleashed on the country by criminals masquarding as EndSARS protesters is unprecendented in our history and a direct consequence of the inepitude and unprofessional coverage of the Lekki incident by Arise News Channel, Channels Television and Africa Independent Television and therefore must be penalized’ .
The group commended the National Broadcasting Commission for defending national security by upholding ita statutory duty as the official regulator of the broadcasting industry in Nigeria by bringing the defaulting stations to book.
Finally,Coalition of Civil Societies for Police Reform and National Unity appealed to the government to embark on a massive youth empowerment programme to meaningfully engage the millions of jobless youth nationwide for national peaceful co-existence and development.