The police in Kano, Nigeria, have arrested three staff members of Wazobia FM 95.1 Kano and a former director
general, Kano State censorship board, Rabo Abdulkareem over a radio programme which may have instigated the killing of 9 polio vaccinators.
Radio Wazobia, on its popular Hausa magazine programme Sandar girma , allegedly aired an item about the polio vaccine which the presenters claimed was laced with chemicals that were likely to cause infertility and hence reduce population.
In the wake of the event, unknown gunmen stormed polio vaccine centres at Tarauni Local Government in the state killing nine female polio vaccinators and injuring many.
A member of staff of Wazobia FM, told LEADERSHIP about the arrests by the team of policemen. LEADERSHIP gathered that Rabo Abdulkareem may be indicted over his alleged view that:
I will always be defiant to Polio vaccination because nobody will convince me that it wasn't an act that goes against the will of Allah and it wasn't a deliberate western conspiracy against our children.
Update: Shouting fire in a crowded cinema and then getting press freedom groups to support the statement on grounds of freedom of expression
5th March 2013. See article
The radio station that broadcast the programme implicated in incitement to murder polio vaccinators has unsurprising been taken off air. Nigeria's media regulatory body shut down the radio station in connection with the broadcast that questioned the
local government's motives in implementing an anti-polio vaccination program. The authorities accused the station of violating a part of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code that prohibits the use of language likely to encourage or incite crime, or lead to
However anti-censorship campaigners have taken issue with this decision and contend that this is censorship.
Nigerian press freedom group Media Rights Agenda cited that the commission did not include specific examples of the show inciting crime or disorder. The groups seems to have convinced the Committee to Protect Journalists that the criticism of the polio
vaccination programme was political comment and so should not be censored.
CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita said:
Nigerian authorities closed Wazobia FM because they did not like its critical coverage... and then they cloaked their decision in highly charged but unsupported allegations of incitement, We call on the National Broadcasting Commission to reverse this
censorship order immediately.