from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA – NIGERIAN regulators have been urged to lift a ban imposed on an independent radio station accused of playing songs with vulgar lyrics and blasphemous music.
Jay FM, the broadcaster based in the city of Jos, capital of the central Plateau State, has also been slapped with a fine of N100 000 (about R4000).
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has stated varying reasons for the ban and fine ranging from ‘vulgar and indecent lyrics’ in contravention of the body’s regulations.
NBC cited Jay FM airing a song, “This is Nigeria”, by rapper Falz (Folarin Falana), which seems to accuse Nigerians of being “criminals.”
Another song NBC cited is by Wande Coal, titled, “Iskaba.” Iskaba means “goodies” in local slang and is colloquially used to refer to a bum.
The song, “See Mary, See Jesus” by hip hop star, Olamide Adedeji, has been cited for the “casual use” of the biblical names regarded as sacred by the Christian faith.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) said the action by the broadcasting regulator risked undermining legitimate expression and independent voices.
“Vague rules on vulgarity and indecency should not be used subjectively to ban or fine independent media outlets, particularly radio and television channels,” said Timothy Adewale, SERAP deputy director.
He said the NBC must immediately lift the ban on the radio station and rescind the fine.
– CAJ News