By Sunday Isuwa
The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) and other anti-tobacco advocacy group has join the call on government and organizers of the Big Brother Naija Show to stop showing smoking scene in the show.
The call was made Wednesday at a press conference in Abuja.
In his speech at the conference,Akinbode Oluwafemi, Deputy Executive Director, ERA/FoEN, noted that the entire anti-tobacco community sees the media as a worthy partner in the pursuit of a healthy and qualitative life for every Nigerian and also express appreciation for the media for the sustained reporting of tobacco control issues, particularly the enlightening reports on dangers of delayed implementation of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act.
He however said that the anti-tobacco community need to be on top of their game because the Tobacco Industry (TI) are not sleeping in their quest to exploit any available loophole to market their deadly ware to the young ones in our society as recently observed in the Big Brother Naija Show .
Nigerians were shocked to the marrows on February 13 when smoking scenes were glamourized in the current Show of the Big Brother Naija2018 Show themed Double Wahala. In a clip in the particular edition, two housemates -Khloe and Teddy À are seen puffying away after Khloe had a very heated argument with fellow housemates.
The smoking scene not only generated shock among Nigerians but also sparked calls for the BBNaija Show to be banned.
According to Akinbode, ‘We were thinking that the organisers would be remorseful after that show of shame, we learnt that Miracle -who is the new head of the house announced a ban on alcohol and smoking but that ban only lasted until Friday (February 23). For us, this arrogant and very disturbing trend has gone beyond the limits in offending the sensibilities of Nigerians who watch the show, many with their Kids.
The anti-tobacco community are therefore demanding that the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation(NBC) should sanction MultiChoice, owners of DSTV and GoTV to stop promoting smoking scenes on the BBNaija show.
They also want governement at all levels and the relevant agencies to begin enfoncement of the nine key provisions of the NTC Act that prohibit smoking in public places and bans sale of cigarettes in single sticks among others.
They also demand that relevant agencies of governement such as Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the security services begin a clampdown on infractions and for the Federal Ministry Health to urgently send the draft Regulations to the National Assembly