The Guild of Public Affairs Analysts of Nigeria (GPAAN) has reacted to the sanction by the National Broadcasting Corporation on Channels Television.
In a statement issued by the Image Maker of the body, Achike Chude, they stated that enough is enough of Governments’ increasing intolerance for diversity of thought and speech, describing it as an assault on press freedom.
“The political space in our country has once more been constricted by the unfortunate, undemocratic, and totally unacceptable suspension by fiat, of Channels television program ‘Politics Today’, and the imposition of a #5 million fine on the organization for airing an interview with Emma Powerful, spokesman of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“The Guild of Public Affairs Analysts of Nigeria (GPAAN), views this action by the federal government through its regulatory agency, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) as one more example of the increasing intolerance of the government for diversity of thought and speech in our country. This brazen assault on press freedom in Nigeria is but a continuation of a deliberate pattern of anti-democratic actions of government which have often times been expressed through extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and incarceration of Nigerians, especially activists, by the security forces as well as refusal to obey validly given court orders by both states and federal government, and other such violations of due process across the land.
“The reason given by the broadcast regulatory agency for the action as deriving from the invitation given to Mr Emma Powerful is laughable, puerile and untainable following the well advertised interview of Sheik Abubakar Gumi on the same station following his visit to terrorists and bandits that have for long undermined the security of the Nigerian people and government. This double standard would seem to have become the hallmark of government’s various engagements with the citizens.
“GPAAN therefore calls on the National Broadcasting Corporation to immediately rescind it’s ill-thought out punitive actions against Channels television. A free press is one of the most fundamental examples of a free and democratic society. To do otherwise would be one more signal of our inexorable descent into anarchy and totalitarianism”, he stated.