Bandits, terrorists planning attacks on Lagos, FCT, Katsina, 3 others — NSCDC

By Miftaudeen Raji 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP has vowed to sue President Muhammadu Buhari administration for the revocation of licences of over 50 broadcast media stations by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

SERAP made this vow in a statement issued via its verified Twitter handle on Friday.

The statement reads partly, “We’re suing the Buhari administration over its arbitrary decision to revoke the licences of 52 broadcast stations, and to deprive the public access to information about critical developments in Nigeria they have a right to know.”

The group stated that the decision by the Buhari administration to revoke the licences of over 50 television and radio stations is a deliberate ploy to stifle media freedom, free expression and access to information in Nigeria. 

The socio-economic right and accountability group has, however, insisted that the decision must be immediately reversed.

In a similar vein, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ has also reacted to the shut down on AIT, Silverbird, Raypower, Rhythm FM and some other broadcast media stations in the country. 

Read also: NBC: Revocation of licenses of 52 broadcast stations, hasty decision – NUJ

In a statement issued on Friday, the National President, NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, said the decision by the NBC to revoke the licenses of 52 broadcast stations nationwide over indebtedness to the Commission was ill advised.

The affected stations, according to NBC are said to owe arrears of licence fees amounting to N2.6 billion since 2015.

Isiguzo insisted that the action was ill timed and reckless, despites claims by the Director General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Shehu Ilelah that the development had no political motives.

He said, “It should be noted that this wholesale revocation of licences at this critical time of insecurity in the Country appears to be a decision taken without careful prior deliberation, consultation or counsel. 

“While we regret the inability of these broadcast stations to fulfill their obligations to NBC, in-view of dwindling resources, we caution against such large scale clampdown of broadcast stations in disregard to security issues and the attendant consequences. We cannot afford the unpleasant outcome of such a media blackout at this time,” he added.

Isiguzo, however, called on NBC to exercise more restraint on this issue in consideration of national security and allow for more dialogue and consultation to find a better way of dealing with the situation.

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