Elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai on Thursday charged the various media bodies in the country such as the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) to speak out on the alleged attempts by the Federal Government to gag the media.
The National Broadcasting Commission had on Thursday queried private broadcast station, Channels Television over the “inciting, divisive and unfair comments” made by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on the TV’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme on Tuesday.
It was also gathered that the commission is not comfortable with an interview granted by a former Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi, who alleged that current members of the Buhari cabinet are Boko Haram sponsors.
The Commission has since summoned anchors of the programme who honoured the invitation and are at the NBC office in Abuja.
The NBC, in a letter to the television station titled, ‘Notice of Infraction’, said, “The programme which had as guest the Executive Governor of Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom, was observed to contain inciting, divisive and unfair comments which were not thoroughly interrogated by the anchors.”
The regulator’s letter was dated August 24, 2021, and signed by its Director-General, Balarabe Ilelah.
It said the actions allegedly negated Sections 1.10.4, 3.1.1, 3.3.1(b), 3.3.1(e), 3.11.1(a), and 3.12.2 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
“Consequently, Channels Television is required to explain why appropriate sanctions should not be applied for these infractions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code. Your response should reach the Commission within 24 hours of the receipt of this letter,” the NBC said.
However, speaking in a chat with DAILY INDEPENDENT, Yakassai, a former presidential adviser to the late President Shehu Shagari said the silence of the various media bodies in the country over the issue is unacceptable.
“I will not comment on this matter. Why can’t the media complain? Why are your bodies silent on these issues? You have the Nigerian Union of Journalists and Guild of Editors, what are they doing about this? I think they owe it a duty to speak out” he said.