Plateau state Government has asked the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction media outfits engaged in publishing of hate speeches and fake news.
Yakubu Datti, the Commissioner of Information, made the call on Wednesday in Jos, when he visited the NBC Zonal office.
He alleged that the media was being used by mischievous persons to fuel attacks on Plateau rural communities, saying that hate speeches spewed through the outfits were also responsible for reprisals attacks.
Datti wondered why media outfits were willing to be used to cause disaffection among Plateau residents, pointing out that such unprofessional conduct had caused mutual distrust across the groups.
He urged the NBC to descend on broadcasting stations not ready to comply with approved regulations and codes, saying that there was no nation where media content was not monitored by regulatory agencies.
Datti alleged that recent attacks on Plateau Government House and Governor Simon Lalong’s convoy when he visited an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, were caused by fake news and hate speeches.
“People read, hear and circulate these fake news and hate speeches; the reactions manifest in the attacks on perceived enemies or opponents. We cannot continue like this,” he said.
In his response, Igomu Onoja, the Zonal Director, said that the NBS had stepped up measures to sanction defaulting organisations.
“We have embarked on weekly checks on media stations to enforce compliance with broadcasting codes.
“Messages likely to incite people or cause negative reactions are prohibited by the NBC. We have always drawn the attention of station managers to erring items and have issued several letters of sanctions.
“We have also drawn the attention of some broadcasting stations in Plateau on the need to balance their news to ensure objectivity,” he said.
Onoja said that NBC was ready to collaborate with the Plateau government and other stakeholders to promote peace and ensure its sustainance in Plateau.