By Emmanuel Elebeke
Reporters of Africa Independent Television, AIT have been on Thursday blocked by brokers of presidency from overlaying President Mohammadu Buhari’s unveiling of the 2020-2025 broadband plan by President Muhammad Buhari.
Vanguard gathered that the AIT crew have been sighted leaving the venue of the occasion after they have been requested to go away the venue of the ceremony by senior workers of the organizer of the occasion, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
Narrating their ordeal, the AIT reporter, Roluke Ogundele, who was accosted by this reporter, mentioned, ‘We arrived the digital economy complex, venue of the event in Jabi district of Abuja early to set up in line with standard protocols ahead of the arrival of President Muhammad Buhari but while we were awaiting the arrival of the president, a deputy director in the Nigerian communications commission, NCC, approached me to notify that AIT has been restricted from covering the event and the crew should pack their equipment and leave the venue immediately.’’
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‘‘The deputy director said the instruction applies to ait and one of the national newspapers, stating that no media representative of the two organisations should be seen at the venue.’’
According to her, whereas different tv stations have been paid for the stay broadcast and protection of the occasion, AIT crew was deployed to cowl the occasion with none industrial curiosity, however strictly on the information worth content material of the occasion.
‘’Since the present administration assumed workplace in 2015, ait has supplied constant protection of actions of the nationwide communications fee NCC and the ministry of communications and digital financial system with none misunderstanding or complaints.
‘‘The official within the NCC who informed us to go away has additionally had a superb working relationship with the broadcaster, and conveyed the directive with apologies saying he was merely following directions. No purpose was given for the motion taken towards ait aside from the assertion that it was “a directive from above,” she mentioned.
Though different main digital media stations and representatives of the varied print media have been allowed in, it was additionally gathered that Punch Newspaper was equally barred from overlaying the occasion. But our findings confirmed that Punch was not likely barred to cowl the ceremony.
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It can be recalled that the AIT is a part of the DAAR Group that has been having a operating battle with the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC which had on some events closed down the station for alleged violation of broadcast code.
Observers are of the view that the baring of AIT on Thursday was not unconnected to the continued feud between the TV station and the handlers of the current federal authorities.