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Channels TV Closure: NBC Officials Flee

Posted by By Simon Ateba on 2008/09/19 | Views: 1332 |

Channels TV Closure: NBC Officials Flee

Officials of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, fled their offices in Lagos, this morning, when a coalition of pro-democracy groups and human rights activists stormed the place to demand the immediate and unconditional restoration of Channels Television’s licence.

Officials of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, fled their offices in Lagos, this morning, when a coalition of pro-democracy groups and human rights activists stormed the place to demand the immediate and unconditional restoration of Channels Television’s licence.

The group, consisting of United Action for Democracy, Democratic Social Movement and Education Rights Campaign, Arewa Consultative Forum, Campaign for Democracy, etc., carried placards which read: ‘Yar’Adua, face the real work of provision of basic needs and infrastructure; ‘The closure of Channels is barbaric and undemocratic’; ‘The rule of law minus press freedom is a ruse’; ‘We call for the immediate and unconditional reopening of Channels’; ‘The Federal Government must tender unreserved apology for this crude military-like assault.’

The groups said the clampdown on Channels TV was the beginning of the nation’s return to the dark age. The NBC officials, who could not stand the huge crowd, hurriedly fled when the crowd massed around their offices at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Marina, Lagos.

The protest was ongoing at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, the Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress (AC) has condemned the clampdown on Channels by the federal government over the false news on the purported resignation of president Umaru Yar’ Adua over ill health.

The party sees the clampdown as a dictatorial excess that would certainly paint the image of the government black, both within and outside the country.

In a release, in Lagos, signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, Lagos AC says it is not difficult to see that the illegal manner the Yar’Adua government came into being has exposed it to serious threats from within, adding that this condition was not helped by the frail health of the president, which has adversely affected loyalty and confidence among those working in this government.

The party said it has further widened the scope of betrayal and scheming by the deadly cabal that exists in PDP while it advised Yar’ Adua to look inwards for the enemies that have been undermining his government and freeze the present clampdown on an innocent news media that was merely doing its duties.

“Instead of hunting news media that merely report events, the government should rather look inwards and find from its ranks those that have been deliberately undermining it. The government has resorted to its witless move of hunting the news bearer and creating a huge propaganda over the issue in a move aimed at diverting attention from the pressing and urgent need to address the fitness or otherwise of the president to continue in office.

“We suspect that this government harbours a thick poach of internal enemies that work hard to undermine it and this is obvious from the embarrassing false steps that has become the hallmark of the Yar’Adua government since it was smuggled to power in May 2007.

“We state that the present over-reaction over a false report that has led to the close down of a responsible news organization and the hounding of its staff suggests a state of insecurity bedeviling the government itself, which we suspect is being created from one and the same source, which is the PDP-led presidency itself,” it stated.

The party said it believed that “as a subscriber to News Agency of Nigeria, the official mouth piece of the government, Channels TV should not be made culpable for its failings. The burden of proof lies with the organ that posts the news and not the medium that merely carried it.”

So we feel the Yar’Adua government should not only look within for those that have undermined its government in the dog-eat-dog tradition of the system that produced his government, but should refrain from adopting rash and dictatorial options to divert attention and look for enemies where there is none.

“NAN is a government organ controlled by the PDP, and we believe its website is protected by a password, known only to those who manage the agency and who are in PDP, or their allies. Lagos AC suspects the PDP and its burgeoning cult of power mongers in what is happening now and it is a fact that since the PDP came to power in 1999, there has been consistent trend of disparate factions and interests in the party, adopting extreme measures to access power.

“Lagos AC therefore demands for the immediate suspension of the needless siege on Channels and the re-opening of the station while we call for the total overhaul of the presidency to free it from the deadly cabal that has virtually destroyed the country through their deadly struggle for raw power. Let the present overblown hullabaloo not be an expansive effort to divert attention from the pressing need to determine the fitness of the president to govern a sick country like Nigeria.”

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.