- NBC Shuts AIT, RayPower FM, Faaji FM
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has suspended the operating licence of DAAR Communications Plc, operators of African Independent Television (AIT), RayPower FM and Faaji FM.
Mr Isa’aq Modibbo, Director General, NBC, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday and announced that the suspension was till further notice.
The Director-General accused the company of breaching NBC codes of broadcasting and that the owners failed to make adjustments after numerous warnings.
The decision, however, has generated mixed reactions as some Nigerians see it as an attempt to silence the media, especially those critical of the current administration.
In a statement signed by its President, Mrs Funke Egbemode, and General Secretary, Mrs Mary Atolagbe, the Guild described the action of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as a “case of Executive highhandedness,” adding “it paints our dear country in the darkest tar of dictatorship,” adding that the suspension order “runs contrary to the ideals of free speech and the fine tenets of press freedom.”
“The Fourth Estate of the Realm remains the watchdog of society and any attempt to gag it in any guise is an affront on democracy and the people. The NBC must and should rescind this ignoble and despicable decision.
“The Guild strongly believes the NBC action is a draconian form of regulation, being out of tune with democratic principles.
“The Guild is concerned about the violation of the constitutional rights of DAAR Communications and the absence of media freedom, independence and the stifling of operations of media outfits which are performing their roles as the watchdog of the Nigerian society.
“The NGE condemns in strong terms the barbaric crackdown on the broadcast outfit and demands the immediate cessation of this atrocious repression and excessive show of power by the NBC, whose duty is to regulate and not kill the media.
“Muzzling the media and throwing thousands of Nigerians into the already saturated labor market should not be the trophy for good corporate governance of a regulator; it is something to be ashamed of and NBC should be ashamed at its action in a fledgling democracy in the 21st Century.
“The Guild is strongly of the opinion that the NBC, in exercising its regulatory powers, should concentrate on implementing policies that will position Nigeria’s broadcasting to compete in the global spheres, rather than engage in witch-hunting and unnecessary show of excessive force,” the statement said.