Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the suspension of the licences of AIT and Raypower FM by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), saying it is an attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled federal government to cage the media.
PDP’s national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in a statement on Thursday.
He stated that the action was targeted at “intimidating and gaging the media, repress constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and stifle public opinion, particularly as related to the determination by Nigerians to retrieve the stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal.”
According to him, the ruling party was aware of the decision, adding that Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, director-general of the NBC, “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.”
Ologbondiyan said, “This clamp down on AIT as well as earlier siege on other media houses and journalists under the APC administration, ostensibly point 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,” he said.
“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.”
Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications Plc, had once accused presidency of using NBC to frustrate his stations.