From Umar Dankano,Yola
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa has petitioned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over alleged denial of Right of Reply by some broadcast media in the state.
A statement on Monday by the State Publicity Secretary of APC, Mohammed Abdullahi, said since the emergence of PDP government in the state under Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, the media houses have been denying APC right of reply in political programmes being aired by some of them.
“APC became an opposition party in the state after the official declaration of the incumbent governor on the platform of PDP.
“After observing with grave concern in the past few months the inability of some media houses in the state to accord us the right to reply, we wrote to NBC seeking clarification,” Abdullahi said.
Shading more light on the issue, an APC chieftain, Uba Dan Arewa, said the local media always dodge when APC approach them to respond to allegations made by PDP and its supporters.
Dan Arewa said such action peculiar to Adamawa local media, both government and private, has been there for long and needed to be discouraged in the interest of democracy, justice and fairness to all citizens of the state.
In a letter of response to APC’s petition seeking clarification, the Maiduguri Zonal Director of NBC, Musa Muhammad, noted that it was an ethical mandate for a broadcast station to dispassionately give Right of Reply to any individual or organisation with genuine complaint of misrepresentation in its broadcast.
Muhammad cited section 3.4.1 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which stipulated that “a Right of Reply was guaranteed to any person or body with a genuine claim to misrepresentation, without cost”.
Muhammad advised APC to follow due process in lodging complaint, by ensuring among others, that such complaint was filed within the stipulated 14 days and that it must contain name of broadcaster, title of Programme, date and time of the broadcast, essence of the complaint or observation, such as the absence of fairness, obscenity or technical shortcomings.
“In view of the above clarification, without any prejudice to section 14.2.1 and 14.2.2 of the broadcast code, you may wish to therefore consider applying the appropriate measure to get Right of Reply on the laid down rules and regulations governing broadcasting in Nigeria,” Muhammad said in his letter of response to Adamawa APC.