The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, had on Thursday suspended the licences of the African Independent Television, AIT, and Ray Power FM indefinitely.
NBC’s Director-General, Dr Modibbo Kawu, said the stations committed offences, which 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,” and others.
However, in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, the opposition party said this clamp down on AIT as well as earlier siege on other media houses and journalists under the APC administration, ostensibly pointed to a plot to frighten and asphyxiate the media, shut down outlets perceived to hold dissenting views and ultimately foist a siege mentality on our citizenry to restrain their demand for fairness and justice in the polity.
“The APC is mortally afraid that a free press will raise the red flag and expose its manipulations and any attempt to subvert the course of justice, especially in the Presidential petition, hence this desperation to strangulate the media and cow Nigerians from freely expressing themselves.
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“Moreover, the PDP invites Nigerians to note that the Director-General of the NBC, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, is a card carrying member and frontline leader in the APC who was also an aspirant on the platform of the party for the governorship of Kwara state.
“The PDP notes that there can be no democracy without a free press. To stifle the media is an invitation to fascism and a return to the era of obnoxious military Decrees 2 and 4, which must be resisted by all. Our party therefore calls on Nigerians and the International community to unite in condemning this desperation to gag the media and repress free speech in Nigeria.
“The PDP also charges the media to remain professional and steadfast in their constitutional role of holding government and its institutions accountable and not be intimidated by oppressive forces that seek to subjugate Nigerians,” PDP said.
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