Black Friday: Why We Are Silent On Hisbah’s Letter To Cool FM – NBC

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has spoken on why it has been silent on the controversy trailing the letter addressed to a radio station, Cool FM by Hisbah, the Sharia police organisation in Kano State asking the radio station to desist from using the term ‘Black Friday’.

In a letter signed by Principal Executive Officer II, Abubakar Ali, on behalf of the Commander-General, Hisbah stated that Friday is regarded as a holy day in Islam and tagging it as ‘black’ is derogatory and would not be condoned.

Some Nigerians have condemned the silence of the NBC, which is the only organisation that has the powers to prescribe a code for broadcasters and sanction them.

However, speaking in an exclusive chat with INDEPENDENT on Saturday, the Director-General of NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, said there is no way the organisation could have spoken on the matter since Hisbah did not write to it to complain about the activities of the radio station.

Idachaba who said NBC cannot reply Hisbah on behalf of CoolFM said since the letter was written to CoolFM, it behooves on the management of the radio station to reply if they have any objection.

He said NBC can only intervene if it receives complaints from Hisbah or the radio station.

“Let me ask you as a reporter, Hisbah in Kano wrote to CoolFM in Kano, what is the response of CoolFM to the letter? None! The letter was not written to NBC. It was written to CoolFM and NBC was not even copied in that letter.

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“A group in Kano writes to a radio station. A radio station is an entity on its own and it has editorial leadership. If it is going to carry a story, it is free and constitutionally mandated to carry it as long as it is balanced and professionally reported. If they decide not to carry a story, it is an editorial decision.

Hisbah has written to them, they are expected to write back stating their reasons why they can’t do that. Then the other organisation (Hisbah) can now write to the regulator complaining about the radio or TV station. But none of this has happened and they are saying NBC is silent.

NBC is not the radio station that they wrote to and we don’t even know the circumstances of the engagement. The radio station should first respond as an independent editorial entity.

“If somebody writes your newspaper, will you ask the Press Council to respond on your behalf?” he asked.

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