The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) yesterday announced the shutdown of AIT/Ray Power FM media houses owned by Daar Communications Ltd. The Director General of the NBC Ishaq Kawu said AIT has failed to follow the broadcasting regulations of the NBC.
He also said AIT Shutdown was due to failure to pay their license renewal fee and when they pay they don’t pay on time. Kawu also said political programs like Kakaki run on AIT and RayPower respectively frequently violated broadcasting codes.
Mr Raymond Dokpesi who is the owner of Daar Communications the parent company of AIT/RayPower denied them violating broadcasting codes and said private media houses are made to pay N500m as license fee while Government owned media houses pay N10m.
Mr. Dokpesi who is a member of the People’s Democratic Party said that President Buhari’s administration is victimising them over perceived allegiance to the opposition.
Prominent Nigerians have reacted to the suspension and shutdown of AIT and RayPower FM licences.
The opposition presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, spoke against the shutdown of AIT and Ray Power FM, two of the country’s largest private broadcasters.
Atiku Abubakar, shared his thoughts on Twitter, he that the fabrics of Nigeria’s democracy were being shredded by the Buhari government.
I am a lifelong democrat and throughout my political life, I have championed the principles of Separation of Powers. The Legislature has been challenged. The Judiciary has been tackled.
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) June 6, 2019
Former Kaduna State Senator Shehu Sani also expressed his concerns via Twitter, he said;
The suspension of @AIT_Online is an utterly condemnable act.The suspension is politically motivated.Its an act of ingratitude & treachery to strangulate the very media outlet that has played a pivotal role in the struggle for the restoration and defense of democracy.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) June 6, 2019
Former aide to Ex- President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri who is very vocal against the Buhari led government also shared his thoughts on the issue which he describeed as a sign of dictatorship;
The @MBuhari junta has shut down @AIT_Online. We are now officially a dictatorship. Opposition voices are stifled, and those who voted against Buhari are treated like enemies of the state and called ‘necessary evil’. Welcome to #NextLevel #FreeLeahSharibu https://t.co/tJ22ZeLEE1
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) June 6, 2019
Although the reason BskyB stopped transmitting NTA has not been verified by this medium, we do know that its transmission on the British platform has been stopped just as BEN TV has also stopped broadcasting NTA on his platform, just after the Nigerian government shutdown a major private broadcasting house.