…We’re sorting out professional, ethnical issues with them—Media Aide
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari may have just started a revenge mission on the African Independent Television, AIT when, yesterday, the security men attached to him barred the station’s correspondent, Tinabeso Bebei from covering Buhari’s functions.
Vanguard gathered that the directive was discreetly given to the correspondent by an official at the Defence House where the crew had gone to cover the visit of Cuban ambassador to Buhari.
It was learned that Buhari’s family had raised security issues which prompted the ban.
Confirming the issue, Buhari’s media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu said that such warning was given and may be revoked when some security and ethical issues were resolved with the station.
He said: “AIT has been asked to stay aside based on security and family concerns. In addition, Buhari has decided that they will have to resolve some issues relating to issues of standard and ethics.
“We will be talking with them to try and resolve the matter, but for now the station has been asked to stay aside, because like I said there are some family and security concerns. They have been asked to step down their coverage until we resolve the matter with them on ethics and standards.”
When asked whether he should be quoted, Shehu said, “yes you can quote me that I said we have asked them to step aside and that we are resolving the issues of ethics and standards with them.”
He, however, stated that the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, was not involved in the ban, saying the crew was at liberty to attend any official engagements of the President-elect.
Meanwhile, there were feelings that Buhari’s ban of AIT came against the background of the hate documentaries and campaign messages played on the station’s network during the polls.