NBC and 2023 General Elections — ABUBAKAR YUSUF.

National Broadcasting Commission, NBC
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The success story of the last general elections in 2023 had many angle of it’s positive dispositions, going by the preparations from various stakeholders with the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC playing a leading roles through engagements , regulations and monitoring of activities of various broadcasting stations spread across the country before, during and after the elections.

This was coming against the backdrop of various cynicism that was envisaged to have militated against the always four years ritual of elections process/ circle as provided in the Nigerian constitution.

Aside the eight states were elections are held at different times owing to litigation among many other electoral programs that changed the process of electing state governors, elections to the President’s office, Senators, House of Representatives, 28 state Governors and 36 state House of Assemblies was conducted in the last general elections for 2023.

Away from it’s statutory obligations and primary assignments, the National Broadcasting Commission NBC embarked on massive awareness, orientation and reorientation on the need for the political class to guide and guard utterances, actions and conducts that was capable of overheating the polity.

The specially designed program embarked upon by the NBC under the new leadership of Alhaji Balarabe Shehu llela, a renowned broadcaster of international repute as the Director General went through the nooks and crannies of the country by crisscrossing the six geopolitical zones, across length and breath not only to preach the need for political tolerance and conducts, but peaceful transition from one political leadership to another at all levels, which was crucial and in line with the democratic tenets and norms.

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The town hall meetings carried out in the six geopolitical zones was not only to caution professional broadcasters and broadcasting stations in the country, but to resist and desist from actions and conducts capable of the derailing the 2023 general elections to the disenchantment of the international community.

Armed with the regulations of the commission as repercussions to recalcitrant or erring stations, it also embarked on massive orientation to the general public to discourage any form of inducements, engagements and insinuations that will set the political actors against one another.

The commission opined that the general public, political class and gladiators to see the game or politics as routine and an obligation to be fulfilled by all, stating the obvious on the need to adopt the spirit of sportsmanship that ensured massive participation.

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The engagements for the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections and the rescheduled Governorship elections of March 18 saw a hitch free exercise, inspite of pockets of uncontrolled utterances that was meted out with stiff penalties by the regulatory body, the NBC.

The town hall meetings and awareness programs organized by the NBC reduced to the barest minimum the usual unannounced and unauthorized as well unapproved, unverified and fake results coming from other bodies in the broadcast medium apart from INEC capable of overheating the polity, creating crises in the country.

The strict monitoring of pre- election and campaign messages, during the elections and post elections had nipped in the bud post elections crises and disagreements witnessed in the previous exercises that almost set the country in a precarious situations.

The pockets of infractions witnessed during the many months of electioneering campaigns was tackled through reprimand, fines and outright penalty that controlled some levels of vulgar and abusive information passed across to Nigerians by the political class and their leaders

Having achieved greatly before, during and after the elections, the post elections utterances and messages from politicians who had either won or lost elections was not treated with levity both in the Radios and Television stations with strict monitoring, management and actions.

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Since democracy is a game of numbers worldwide, the outcome was expected to produce both winners and losers as aggrieved and winners were tempted to accept and reject the outcomes, using both vulgar and acceptable languages against the lay down procedures.

The NBC conscious of both negative and positive development was handy and imposed official sanctions, against any medium found wanting to have instigated the general public in the course of carrying out their statutory functions to avoid negative actions and reactions after the successful conducts of the 2023 general elections.

The announcement of the Presidential election and National Assembly results four days after the conduct and without distractions or counter announcement of any other results before the official announcement by INEC showed a departure and success story of the new NBC under the leadership of Alhaji Balarabe Shehu llela to take the commission to greater heights in the area of monitoring, controlling and regulations of the broadcast medium in Nigeria.

Written By ABUBAKAR YUSUF, A Public Affairs Analyst and can be reached on yus.abubakar3@gmail.com.

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