- Prominent Nigerians continue to react to the withdrawal of AIT and Ray Power FM's licences by the NBC
- Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP, described the move as a slide into dictatorship
- A former deputy spokesman of the APC, Comrade Timi Frank, described the NBC's action as the height of tyranny
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Thursday, June 6, announced the suspension of the licences of the African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM belonging to the Daar Communications Limited.
The NBC director-general, Modibbo Kawu, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja, saying the media houses’ shutdown was until further notice.
The offences listed by the NBC included the airing of a presidential election documentary by the AIT, a matter pending before a tribunal, the inability of the company to pay its fees, the use of “divisive and inciting contents from the social media” among others.
The owner of Daar Communications Limited is High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain.
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Dokpesi had alleged that his affiliation with the opposition PDP is the reason for the alleged current bias being meted to his company.
Reacting to NBC's action, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, described it as a slide into dictatorship.
Buhari administration needs to be reminded that freedom of the press and of speech is not only fundamental to democracy, it is guaranteed by the constitution. Nothing untoward must be done to roll back our hard earned democracy, Atiku wrote on his Facebook page.
Similarly, a former deputy publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, said the action is the height of tyranny.
His words: “This represents an unfortunate and lamentable oppression of the media and direct suppression of press freedom in the country by the Buhari regime which must not be allowed to stand.
“The ongoing pacification, intimidation and emasculation of the Nigerian media to confer totalitarian powers on the Buhari’s regime and enable it to ride roughshod over Nigerians without censure or criticism.
“This unfortunate action, I dare say, marks the beginning of the #NextLevel policy of intimidation and persecution of the Nigerian media by the Buhari’s regime.
“Make no mistakes, this closure is meant to serve as a lesson to other media houses and forcefully stop them from exposing Buhari’s ineptness and cluelessness in governance to members of the public.”
Meanwhile, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) on Tuesday, June 4, condemned alleged plots to impose some persons as leaders in both chambers of the incoming ninth National Assembly.
The spokesman for the coalition, Ikenga Ugochinyere, who disclosed the position of the group while briefing journalists in Abuja, also expressed support for the use of secret ballot for the election of the officers, adding that the voting method is the only way to stop desperate godfathers from foisting their stooges on the legislature.
The coalition also condemned moves to produce leaders from particular sections of the country, to the detriment of other sections, warning that the development portends danger to national unity and integration.
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