Friday, 22 May 2009


Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo yesterday in Awka, Anambra State, ordered journalists out of a conference where he was scheduled to deliver a paper.

Soludo was invited to deliver a lecture entitled “Financial sustainability in the Catholic Church’’ at the conference, organised by the Awka Diocese of the Catholic Church.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Soludo had hardly begun to speak when he noticed the presence of a horde of photographers and other journalists in the venue of the forum.

“Who are these?” he asked and when told that they were newsmen invited by organisers to cover the event, he threatened to discontinue the lecture until the “intruding” reporters were sent out of the hall. “I have the right to talk to my church, and my visit here is private,” Soludo said.

The request was immediately carried out by the organisers who asked the newsmen not only to leave the hall, but the entire premises of the Pastoral Retreat Centre, venue of the conference.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Partisan Journalism

I am getting quite disturbed with the conduct of some professional colleagues. I am disturbed cos am a member of the family and as such cannot run away from making observations to restore dignity to my cherished profession.

I find it hard to explain why some colleagues have lately thrown caution to the winds and embraced partisanship in the discharge of their duties. Am worried that professionalism has been thrown to the dust bin and what some colleagues are now wearing is 'coat of interest'.

I have been in Ekiti State , southwest Nigeria where a disputed election re-run has pitched the ruling PDP and the opposition AC. My experiences in the hands of my professional colleagues is not what i want to share with my wife during dinner so she does not lose her appetite.

Before i embarked on the trip to Ekiti State, I read and heard stories about how some journalists were harassed, beaten and assaulted by natives. I had this concern at the back of my mind and planned to thread with caution in terms of visibility.

But my findings on getting to Ekiti State were shocking. My colleagues were actually beaten up cos they were confirmed to have pitched their tents with the political parties. Almost all journalists belonged to a political camp even though they were not card carrying members.

Some were given special accomodation at 3-star hotels and they never hid it that they were on the payroll of the parties.

Some colleagues were willing tools of propaganda and concerned themselves more with spreading rumuors than carrying out their duties. I don't want to mention names but to say i was disappointed with the conduct of some colleagues i had respect for prior to the Ekiti disgrace is an understatement.

So why wont we get beaten up by our readers/listeners/ viewers?

There has to be a change in attitude and am appealing to individuals cos the Nigeria Union of Journalists now seems to be a toothless bulldog.

Change in attitude is definitely inevitable.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Regulator Slaps Private Radio Fine over Sharp Practices

Nigeria's broadcast regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), fined private radio station Adaba FM 500,000 Naira (approx. US$3,350) for allegedly transmitting on 25 April "materials that were capable of inciting members of the public to violence and consequently leading to breakdown of law and order", while covering the re-run of the governorship elections in Ekiti State in the southwest.

Mr. Awwalu Salihu, NBC's head of public affairs, said in a statement that Adaba FM's broadcast of 9:30 a.m. (local time) of 25 April violated sections 3.1.2 and 1.4.4 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, adding that the commission gave the station until 8 May to pay up or "face higher sanction".

The letter of sanction was reportedly handed over to the acting general manager of the station, Mr. Joseph Alake, in the afternoon of 27 April.

The commission stressed its "determination to ensure that broadcasting stations play their indispensable role according to the rules of the game to ensure fairness and peace in the nation's political process."

The NBC was not specific on what aspects of the station's programme breached the Broadcasting Code. As was the case on previous occasions when it sanctioned privately owned broadcasting stations, the NBC again did not follow the procedure specified in the Broadcasting Code which requires the commission to give a station an opportunity to defend itself before applying sanctions.

The NBC is viewed by many as lacking in independence as it is directly under the control of the minister of information and communications as well as the president.

It has been repeatedly accused of being quick to muzzle privately owned broadcast stations with little or no justification while turning a blind eye when government-owned stations violate the provisions of the Broadcasting Code, particularly during election periods.

Adaba FM is a private station running on the frequency modulated wave band and is based in Akure, the Ondo State capital, in south-west Nigeria.