Obi, CACOL Condemn Suspension of AIT, Ray Powers Licences

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Peter Obi

The vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi and Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) have has condemned the suspension of the licenses of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Powers.

Speaking to newsmen at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Obi said that it was anachronistic to behold such news in this time and age and described it as “an affront on the freedom of the press and speech as enshrined in our constitution.”

Obi said more than 20 years of uninterrupted democracy was worth celebrating, but that the news of affront on any type of freedom, rather than offer reasons to celebrate democracy reminds Nigerians about the better-forgotten years of military dictatorship and brutality.

Obi said communication medium accounted as “enemy often turn out to be ones to be appreciated when history finally gives her verdict.”

In another development, Obi condoled the Managing Director of Thisday newspaper, Mr. Eniola Belli over the death of her wife. Obi prayed for the repose of her soul and for God to grant the living, especially her husband, the strength to bear the loss with equanimity.

The CACOL, also, flayed the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for its indefinite suspension of the operational license of AIT/RAYPOWER Communications which has led to the outright closure of the media outfit.

In a statement by its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, the anti-corruption advocacy group said “We note, with bated caution and guided response, the indefinite suspension of the operational license of AIT/RAYPOWER Media outfit, leading to its closure yesterday.

“We have carefully listened to and read reasons advanced for this unfortunate and avoidable action by the NBC, for its action ranging from the accusation of the media outfit ‘operating more like social media by airing hate speech, divisive and inciting comments, etc., on its programmes that discuss national issues in breach of certain provisions of the NBC Act and Broadcasting Code.’

“They were also accused of ‘not paying their license fees as and when due as well as the accusation of the owner and Founder of the outfit ‘creating the habit of using the media outfit to fight his personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the Law.’

“It also cited many instances where management of the media outfit had been cautioned on its style of operations without any sign of conscious efforts at rectifying same.

“In different vein, the management of the affected media outfit has refuted and denied almost all the allegations too by insisting that the management under him, ‘has sought an audience with the NBC DG by calling, texting and sending letters which were all rebuffed as he simply refused to allow any meetings with him by the organization’s management.’”