Nigeria’s Minister of Information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has asked the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to take reality TV show, Big Brother Naija off the air.
The season 5 of Big Brother Naija reality TV show started on Sunday, 19th of July and is already in its sixth day. The show is arguably the most watched programmes on Cable TV in the country.
According to reports, the acting director-general of the NBC, Armstrong Ichaba, informed senior management members that he had been directed by the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to shut down the show.
The minister has used fears of COVID-19 as the excuse to shut down the show after it has been revealed that he wants the producers of the show, MultiChoice Ltd out of Nigeria.
NBC, however, have not seen any basis to shut down the show although they have sought an explanation from the producers of Big Brother Naija show on a possible violation of COVID-19 protocols with the airing of the show.
Multichoice have replied with detailed explanations on measures taken in collaboration with the Lagos State government, whose agency, Lagos State Safety Commisssion, gave the green light for the show.
Housemates were also said to have been screened before the beginning of the show (isolation for 2 weeks) as well as other measures taken to ensure safety during the show.
However, the acting DG, Idachaba was said to have informed the meeting that he would have no other option than to carry out the minister’s order- the same way he altered the broadcast code to please the minister despite public outcry.
MultiChoice has since tried to reach Lai Mohammed but to no avail as he did not pick his phone calls or reply messages.
NBC in response to the CableTV however said Big Brother Naija will not be taken off air but did not provide any further information.
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