NANS condemns NBC ‘victimization’ of Channels TV presenters

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun State, has condemned the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for summoning Chamberlain Usoh and Kayode Okikiolu of Channels Television to its Abuja office, describing it as victimization.

it was reported that two presenters of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily were invited to NBC headquarters in Abuja over some “inciting comments” made against President Muhammadu Buhari by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State when he appeared on the program on Tuesday.

In a statement signed by the Ogun NANS Chairman, Damilola Simeon, and made available to DAILY POST on Thursday evening, it was said that “The media, being the fourth estate of the realm, is an important pillar upon which the democracy of a heterogeneous nation like Nigeria lies.”

Simeon told the Federal Government that “the absence of accountability in governance will lead to impunity and serial abuse of office.”

He added that the enforcement of accountability of public office holders through the watchdog function of the media was “sine qua non to the preservation and sustainability of our democratic fabrics.”

According to him, an attack on the media was tantamount to “an attempt to circumvent, debilitate and render impotent Nigeria’s democratic system.”

“The summon of Chamberlain Usoh of Channels Television and his colleague is one of the many coordinated, systematic and deliberate attempts to suffocate, strangulate and gag the media.

“Aside from the victimization of the journalists, which reeks of abuse of power and anti-criticism status, Channels Television is also being threatened with the suspension of their broadcasting license.

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“While the respondents who went to air their opinion are left alone, the journalists are being victimized because they are the easy prey.

“The freedom of information act is a non-negotiable criteria for any nation whose democracy must stand the test of time and as such be jealously guarded.
Harassment and intimidation of media practitioners is abominable even in military government. How much more when we say we’re practicing democracy?

“This condemnable action by the Federal government will only present Nigeria as a laughing stock in the international community.

At a time when the world is extolling and enjoying the benefits of freedom of information, the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students finds it ludicrous that a government that promised justice, equality, freedom and other constitutional rights is busy choking the media space while trampling on the same constitutional provisions they swore to protect.

On this note, we call on President Muhammad Buhari to immediately stop the victimisation of journalists and cease using the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation as a tool for harassing media houses.

The Nigerian Students in the entire South West solidarises with every affected journalists and media outfits. You’re not alone,” NANS submitted.

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