The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has condemned what it called a needless Federal Government clampdown on ‘Idon Mikiya’, a popular Hausa programme being aired on a radio station, Vision FM, Abuja.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had imposed a fine on the station and suspended the programme for allegedly discussing issues about a national security agency.
The Executive Director of CISLAC, Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, in a statement he personally signed, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the NBC to order, saying that the level of intolerance and impunity is getting out of hand and that has no place in a democracy.
He said: “We call on the administration to urgently lift the suspension and uphold the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and relevant international obligations which talk about freedom of the press and the right of the media to hold the government accountable to the people.”
Rafsanjani, who doubles as Head of Transparency International, Nigeria, and Chairman of the board of Amnesty International, Nigeria, asserted that the rush to impose monetary fines and suspension of broadcast stations by the NBC exposes the government’s illicit desire to gag the press, block free speech and turn Nigeria into a police state.
He reminded the administration that its emergence was as a result of press freedom and the vibrancy of the civil society in creating a safe civil space, adding that it is unpatriotic for today’s political actors to seek to destroy the ladder they climbed to power.
He advised the NBC to rescind this needless clampdown and handle its regulatory role more professionally and with a lot of restraint.
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