A leading pro-democracy and Non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Friday called for the sack of the Director General, National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Alhaji Modibbo Kawu, and also highlighted reasons the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, suspended the broadcast licence of DAAR Communications, owners of African Independent Television, AIT, and RayPower Fm.
It claimed that AIT and RayPower’s licences were suspended due to a protest staged against NBC’s Director General, Modibbo Kawu by the founder of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi.
Dokpesi had a few days ago called for the removal of Kawu over his handling of the Commission and his alleged affiliation to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
However, HURIWA described the shutting down of AIT and RayPower as “reckless display of amateurish executive rascality.”
In a media statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the Right group described as cowardly, the “behaviour of the ethically challenged DG who took the illegal action against AIT just because the ex-chairman of the media house led a street protest against his atrocious and politically biased headship/leadership since the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari’s regime in 2015.”
HURIWA asked President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to, “sack forthwith the unqualified Director General of the troubled media regulatory Agency (NBC) Alhaji Modibbo Kawu (who ran to be governorship candidate of APC at the last primary and lost woefully) who has shown crass incompetence and a total lack of objectivity and professionalism because of his entrenched loyalty to a political party.
“Modibbo Kawu Sees himself as an APC propagandist who is on a mission to intimidate and harass all independent-minded broadcasting outfits. The Courts of law must rapidly save media freedoms from being emasculated by Buhari through his foot soldier in NBC Alhaji Modibbo Kawu of APC”.
The rights group stressed that the head of such an independent body like the broadcasting media regulatory authority must never be such a “a rabid fanatical member of one of the over 90 registered political parties.”
HURIWA consequently called for the “dismissal of the DG of NBC Modibbo Kawu because he is not a fit and proper person to head such an illustrious body of media regulators given his open partisanship.”
“The illegal ban of African Independent Television must be overturned forthwith because the Independent African Television is about the only truly privately independent television that the APC led administration has been unable to financially induced to stop featuring human rights activists and advocates with independent bent.
“We also asked all credible non governmental bodies and lovers of democracy and press freedoms to pour out on the streets all over the country in protest to compel President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to re-open AIT and sack Modibbo Kawu of APC who in any event is facing a criminal trial over alleged misapplication of N2.5 billion Digital Signal Operations Fund which he allegedly paid to a private communication firm who had paid an initial licencing fee before been accredited as one of the two national DSO signal operators.
“The matter it would be recalled is before a high court of competent jurisdiction,” HURIWA said.
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