FG plans to gag media ahead of release of FBI files on Tinubu -Atiku’s Camp
There is growing concern about the state of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Nigeria.
This concern was heightened by a recent threat from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction Arise News Television Channel over Kenneth Okonkwo’s comments on Tinubu’s forged certificate.
This threat was seen as just the tip of the iceberg by Phrank Shaibu former vice president Atiku’s media aide, who argue that the government has been pressuring media outlets to only report certain information and ignoring opposition views.
He stated that the government’s actions are having a chilling effect on the media and are a threat to democracy.
Continuing, he said that the government is trying to control the narrative and shape public opinion, rather than allowing for open and honest debate.
The FBI’s impending release of documents related to its investigation of Bola Tinubu raises questions about transparency and accountability.
The media has a responsibility to ensure that the public has access to accurate and objective information about this case.
As the “watchdog” of society, the media must be aggressive in its pursuit of the truth and must not be afraid to challenge those in power.
In a press statement made available to RPTVBLOG, Mr Shaibu stated further:
“Since Tinubu became president on May 29, the NBC has become more partisan than ever.
The NBC boss, Balarabe Ilelah, is obviously seeking to retain his appointment and is now dancing to the tune of the APC and their master at the Presidential Villa.
“The NBC has now been co-opted into a grand plot to gag the media over Tinubu’s certificate scandal.
Having lost the battle in the court of public opinion, they are now trying to use the powers of the state to browbeat the media into silence.
This is indeed shameful for a man who claimed to be a hero of the June 12 struggle.
“But this is not the time for the Nigerian media to show any weakness.
The trove of documents that the FBI is set to release this month will expose details of the investigation that tied Bola Tinubu to heroin trafficking.
The dissemination of this information must not be left to social media alone. The media must rise up to its role as the watchdog of society as enshrined in Section 22 of the 1999 constitution.”
Mr Shaibu further argued that the public’s standards for those in power have been lowered, and this is reflected in the way that some people defend actions that would otherwise be considered unacceptable.
They point out the hypocrisy of holding Tinubu’s forged certificate scandals to a different standard than private citizens, and call for a higher level of integrity and accountability.