By Adewale Sanyaolu and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
National Association of Seadogs (NAS) (pyrates confraternity) has kicked against what it called ‘blatant assault on press freedom’ by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The organisation declared the directive by the regulatory body to television and radio stations not to divulge details of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists during newspaper reviews is unconstitutional as it violates freedom of expression of citizens and seeks to prevent the press from performing its duties enshrined in Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to hold government accountable on behalf of the people. The NAS Capoon, Abiola Owoaje, in a statement entitled: “NBC’s Bullying of the Media Unacceptable,” said the regulatory body, by its latest action, wants to suppress press freedom and restrict access of information to Nigerians.”
According to Owoaje, NBC, by the directive, intends to criminalise journalism and prevents victims of terrorism, banditry and other associated crimes from getting justice.
Meanwhile, NAS has tasked all state governments to adopt the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) designed drug abuse awareness in their schools curriculum.
Declaring open a debate competition organised by the association in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the state coordinator of the association, Nwankpa Chimazom, stressed the need for government to collaborate with schools to end the menace of drug abuse among secondary school students.
Chimazom, who spoke on the topic: “Drug Abuse Among Youths; Beneficial or Not,” urged youths to desist from consuming hard drugs which he said are harmful.
“Drug abuse is something that will must continue to talk about and no time will be enough for the menace which hard drugs have caused within our youths, especially among teenagers.”