#Twitterban: Nigerian radio challenges NBC, says Twitter deactivation order ‘wrong’

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A Lagos-based radio station, Radio Now 95.3FM, has faulted the recent directive from National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) that television and radio stations should deactivate their Twitter account.

The radio station launched in 2020 also challenged the regulatory body to go back to the drawing table.

NBC had warned that “it will be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter.”

“We believe this amounts to an attack on the media and freedom of speech, both of which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Nigeria,” a statement by the executive director of the radio station, Kadaria Ahmed, read.

Ms Ahmed noted that section 39(1) guarantees freedom of expression as a fundamental right.

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“Section 22 of Nigeria’s constitution guarantees press freedom by stating that the press, radio, television, and other agencies of the mass media shall at all time be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people,” she added.

She further explained that while the station will comply with the order, it will also engage with its lawyers on the legality of the order.

“We believe the notice by NBC goes against these laws. Radio Now will, under duress, comply with the directive of the commission while consulting with our lawyers on the legality of this directive.

The advice we receive will determine our next steps. It is important to state that we too are dismayed at the direction our beloved nation is headed but while we recognise the responsibility of the government to act where it sees a threat to the country, we believe such decisions must consider the implications for press freedom, our fragile democracy & the impact on livelihoods”.

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