HURIWA condemns shutdown of AIT •Calls for nationwide protests, dismissal of Kawu

Posted by News Express | 7 June 2019 | 661 times

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•HURIWA National Coordinator Onwubiko

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described as “reckless display of amateurish executive rascality” the clampdown by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of the African Independent Television (AIT) and its sister radio stations – RayPower FM and Faaji FM.

HURIWA condemned what it described as “the cowardly behaviour of the ethically challenged Director General of NBC, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-card carrying member, Alhaji Modibbo Kawu who took the illegal action against AIT just because the ex-chairman of the media house led a street protest on Thursday against the NBC’s atrocious and politically-biased Modibbo Kawu’s headship/leadership since the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari’s regime in 2015.”

In a media statement Thursday night  and signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA asked President Muhammadu Buhari's administration “to sack forthwith the unqualified DG of the troubled media regulatory agency (NBC), Alhaji 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 the NBC, Alhaji Kawu of APC.”

HURIWA said the head of such an independent body like the broadcasting media regulatory authority must never be such a shamelessly rabid fanatical member of one of the over 90 registered political parties. HURIWA therefore called for his dismissal because “he is not a fit and proper person to head such an illustrious body of media regulators given his open partisanship.”

According to HURIWA, the illegal ban of AIT must be overturned forthwith because it is about the only truly privately independent television that the APC led administration has been unable to financially induce to stop featuring human rights activists and advocates with independent bent.

The rights group has 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 the President Buhari’s administration to re-open AIT and sack Modibbo Kawu of the 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 licensing 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.

Source: News Express

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