By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria says it will sanction the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Trust TV, a television owned by Media Trust Group, over their documentaries on terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
Daily Trust TV, an extension of the Daily Trust Newspaper, had released a special report on banditry in Nigerian states in March.
BBC Africa Eye’s recent investigation revealed the perspectives of some bandit leaders in Zamfara State. In the video released on Monday, Bandits said the Government paid ransoms for the release of some abductees and then denied it.
Speaking during a press briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said “the Federal Government is aware of the unprofessional documentary by the BBC Africa Eye, where interviews were granted to bandit warlords and terror gangs, thereby promoting terror in the country.”
He condemned the BBC for not upholding the same standards and tenets as they would have done in the UK.
The minister also condemned Trust Tv, owned by Media Trust Ltd for using its platform to grant interview to a bandit kingpin, Shehu Rekeb, thereby promoting activities of terrorists.
What the minister is saying
“When otherwise reputable platforms like the BBC give their platform to terrorists, showing their faces as if they’re Nollywood stars. I want to assure them that they won’t get away with it. The appropriate sanctions will be meted,” Mohammed said.
“Let me assure you, they will not get away with this naked glorification of terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
“All I can say is that there is a regulatory body, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), and they are also aware of these incidents and are looking at which part of the broadcasting codes have been violated by both the BBC and the Daily Trust.
“But I can assure you that there will be consequences. For those who will argue that BBC is a foreign broadcaster and as such, it is not licensed by NBC, let me assure you, they will not get away with this naked glorification of terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
“I have said it many times here that the media is the oxygen that the terrorists and bandits need to breathe. When other reputable platforms like BBC now give their platform to terrorists, showing their faces as if they are Nollywood stars, what does that mean? I want to assure them they won’t get away with it. There are sanctions to be meted on both the BBC and the Daily Trust.”
See the documentary below