21 February 2013

Nigeria: FG, Kano Want Wazobia FM Sanctioned

Photo: Maria Hengeveld/RNW
Radio station

Abuja — The Federal Government yesterday said it had initiated an action to get the owners of Cool FM/Wazobia, that broadcasted an inciting programme criticising the polio programme, which allegedly instigated the murder of seven polio immunisation workers and three others earlier this month in Kano State.

Consequently, the Federal Government said it had directed that disciplinary action be meted against the media house for inciting the action which led to the killings.

Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, who stated this at a press briefing at the close of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in State House Abuja, said both the Federal Government and Kano State government have submitted their claims on the matter to the Nigerian Broadcasting Organisation (NBC).

According to him, police in the state had arrested and charged three radio journalists, all of whom have been released on bail, who did the hatchet broadcast job.

Explaining that the matter is still being intensely investigated, the Minister noted that what the media practitioners did was not acceptable.

Chukwu said: "The mass media is controlled by private people. Kano government has complained against the medium and NBC ought to sanction it," assuring that government was working with security agencies to provide security for the health workers and those participating in the exercise."

Earlier, the minister had briefed journalists about the 2012 progress report of his ministry, which he presented to the council.

He enumerated areas of key achievements as reduction of the prevalence of fake drugs , population immunity of 87 per cent in 11 endemic states in the north and increase in maternal and child health by 29 per cent over 2011.

Hoping that the country would soon be issued with a guinea worm-free certificate by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the minister said the absence of a legislative framework for the implementation of the national health policy and therefore urged the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the enabling act to facilitate its implementation and provide additional funding.

"There is no legislative framework to enforce National Health Policy (NHP) but we are working with legislative arm to ensure that the National Health bill is passed as it will provide addition funding apart from facilitating implementation," he stated.

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