…describes action as attack on media

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The organized Labour on Friday condemned the suspension of broadcast licenses of the DAAR Communications, the owner of the African Independent Television, AIT, and Ray power radio by the Federal Government agency, National Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

AIT, Raypower

The organized Labour through the President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba called for immediate lifting of the suspension.

A statement in Abuja stated, “We are disturbed by the sudden suspension of the broadcast licences of the DAAR Communications broadcast services, African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower radio.

“We are particularly worried that the suspension was issued as a result of alleged inability of the owners of these broadcast services to pay up licence renewal fees and continued broadcast of views and reports considered to be detrimental to certain interests.

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“For us, in a democratic environment these allegations should not ultimately attract such noxious sanctions that circumscribes both the broadcast rights of the services and the fundamental rights of the public to access news and information.

“More worrisome is the negative impact of this action on job creation and sustenance in the face of growing insecurity directly traced to existing high unemployment in the country.

“Part of the positive attributes of democracy is the fact that there are legal options constitutionally established to resolve grievances. The judiciary should have been approached if anyone, including government or its agencies feel aggrieved by the actions of corporate or individual citizens.

“We view the suspension of these licenses as premeditated attacks on the media ultimately aimed at circumscribing our collective freedom. This is unacceptable in its entirety and we demand that the suspension be lifted immediately.

“We urge the Federal Government to caution all its agencies and commissions against taking any action(s) that contravenes democratic standards. The commission should approach the judiciary rather than take unilateral actions that eventually affects the rights of the citizens to information and knowledge.”