PRESS RELEASE BY THE ZONE F ZONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE BROADCASTING ORGANIZATION OF NIGERIA, (BON)
We have taken considerable note with the way and manner our Governments at the various levels have been addressing the ravaging Covid 19 pandemic in our region for some weeks now. While we want to thank the State governments especially in the South South region with the efforts put in so far, we are constrained to also quickly point out that the Broadcast media which serves as a critical stakeholder during this period appears to either be relegated to the background or not appreciated for the role they have played so far in the fight against the Coronavirus especially by way of persistent public enlightenments.
For the avoidance of doubts, Covid 19 is war against our people and should be treated as such, that is why the South South Zone of the BON commends all the Doctors and medical staff who have been in the forefront of the fight against this pandemic in the zone.
The Organization also appreciates all the security agencies who have assisted various State Governments in enforcing the various actions taken to curb the further spread of the virus. We are also quick to advise the officers and men of the various security organs to continue to carry out their functions with every sense of responsibilities to the citizens of the region and also ensure they give honour to whom honour is due especially in handling those in the forefront of this battle, the medical staff, broadcasters and journalists as confronting these set of people could work against the collective good of the region.
From the reports reaching the Secretariat of BON in the South South Zone, there is an urgent need for all the State Governments in the Region, Wealthy Individuals, Oil Majors and other Corporate Organizations to urgently come to the rescue of all the Radio and Television Stations operating in the zone by way of support as their source of revenues appears to have been stalled as a result of the Covid19 thus further endangering the Stations and their staff to continue to carry out their statutory duty of informing and educating the people of the dangers of the virus and how to avoid or prevent it.
If the situation continues the way it is without assistance from the relevant government agencies and organizations, most of the Stations will be forced to shut down their operations which most of them to a large extent have already reduced their hours of broadcast. We expect each of the State governments to immediately engage the Management of Broadcast Stations operating within their States on the best possible ways they can support the Stations in other to continue the enlightenment and education of their people as a complete information blackout could spell very serious doom to the efforts already marshaled by the State Governors to curtail the virus in their respective States.
It is clear that depending on the social media could spell further doom especially in this era of Hate Speech. The supports could come in form of diesel supplies, monetary and material as the operators need to also get protected in the course of carrying out their daily chores. We expect this clarion call of ours to all and sundry to be treated with the dispatch that is required.
Godsave us all.
Signed:Charles DanielsChairman, Zone F,BON