The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has kicked against what it described as the ‘clampdown’ on major broadcast stations by the Federal Government, following the sanctions imposed on AIT, Channels and the ARISE TV by the National Broadcast Commission (NBC) over their reportage of the #EndSARS protest in various parts of the country.
The PDP in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan described the ‘rush’ to impose monetary fines on the television stations by the NBC as a fresh attempt to further gag the media, suppress free speech and shutdown Nigerians’ access to information.
The party said the clampdown on broadcast stations has heightened widespread public apprehensions of attempts at concealments of details and suppression of material evidence relating to human rights violations during the protest.
“In fact, this display of high-handedness by the NBC has hugely detracted from the efforts being made by well-meaning Nigerians to douse the tension in the land and reassure Nigerians at this critical time,” Ologbondiyan said.
“Our party holds that, in the course of information handling, especially in a crisis situation as we witnessed in the last two weeks, where caution is required, draconian measures should not be an option. Rather, all efforts should be towards national healing,” the statement added.
While calling for calm and restrain in the general interest of the unity and stability of the nation, the PDP advised the NBC to reverse its decision and handle its regulatory role more professionally.
“While the PDP calls for caution by all Nigerians, especially in the handling of information, we urge agencies of government to be mindful of actions that are capable of acerbating the already precarious situation in which we have found ourselves,” the party said.