Channels TV: Reps caucus tackles NBC over infraction notice
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus, in the House of Representatives, on Friday, described the notice of infraction issued to Channels Television by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over an interview with Benue governor, Samuel Ortom, as an attempt to gag the media.
The caucus, in a statement by its leader, Kingsley Chinda, expressed concerns that the Federal Government is more interested in allegedly hounding perceived enemies, than in addressing national challenges.
The opposition lawmakers noted that the caucus is already challenging the enactment of the 6th amended NBC code, in the court, as it is an affront on the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right.
According to them, “notwithstanding the pendency of the above matter, the NBC is unrelenting in its brazen application of the Broadcasting code for the purpose of stifling free speech and gagging the print and electronic media across the country.
“We must first register our deep concern that whilst the nation drifts into a near Hobbesian state amidst the raging insecurity currently engulfing the nation, the daily carnage experienced across Benue and Plateau States and elsewhere in the country, kidnappings of innocent citizens, including school children, to the unprecedented violent attack on the National Defence Academy- one of the most hallowed symbols of Nigeria’s `sovereignty.
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is preoccupied with hounding perceived enemies of the administration and stifling the press, acts which are antithetical to democratic ethos.
“Certainly, there are more pressing issues demanding statecraft and leadership than the hounding of journalists and repression of the media merely on account of interviews granted by opposition figures,” the caucus stated.