The Peoples Democratic Party has described the suspension of the operating licence of DAAR Communications PLC, the parent company of Africa Independent Television (AIT), and Ray Power 100.5 FM, as an attempt to gag media.
The PDP in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said, it is evident that the attack on AIT is 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.
The party also described the suspension as a clampdown on AIT noting that it is a plot to frighten and asphyxiate the media.
They accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of attempting to strangle the media adding that the Director-General of the NBC, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, is a card-carrying member of APC.
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.
Moreover, the PDP invites Nigerians to note that the Director-General of the NBC, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, 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.
The PDP notes that there can be no democracy without a free press. To stifle the media is an invitation to fascism and a return to the era of obnoxious military Decrees 2 and 4, which must be resisted by all.
Our party, therefore, calls on Nigerians and the International community to unite in condemning this desperation to gag the media and repress free speech in Nigeria.”
The NBC on Thursday announced the suspension of the licences of the AIT and Ray Power FM belonging to the Daar Communications Limited.
The NBC Director-General, Kawu, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja. He said the shutdown of the media houses was until further notice.
The DG said the infractions committed by the media houses included their inability to pay their licence renewal fees and the airing of a Presidential election documentary while the matter was still before a tribunal, among others.