Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project -SERAP has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “urgently instruct Mr. Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture to withdraw the threat to sanction the BBC and Daily Trust over their documentaries on terrorism in the country, whether through the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission -NBC or any other government agency.
According to reports, Mr. Mohammed had last Thursday, announced that the Federal Government would sanction the BBC and Trust Tv for airing documentaries that allegedly “glorify”, “promote”, and “fuel” terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
In a letter dated 30 July 2022 and signed by the SERAP deputy director Mr. Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization stated: “The media has the duty to impart information and ideas on issues of public importance. If carried out, the threat to sanction the BBC and Daily Trust would inhibit the media from reporting on issues of public interest.”
According to SERAP, “Media houses and journalists ought to be given the room to determine how best to disperse information of public interest, especially information about the escalating violence and killings across the country.”
The organization further said, “Rather than punishing the media for promoting access to differing opinions and information on issues of public importance, your government should focus on delivering your promises to ensure the security of Nigerians. Carrying out the threat to sanction the BBC and Daily Trust would lessen the flow of diverse viewpoints and information to the public.”