Why Buhari shutdown AIT, RayPower

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After series of threats and counter-threats, the Federal Government under the leadership of President  Muhammadu Buhari, has shut down the Daar Communications Plc, broadcasters of African Independent Television (AIT), and RayPower, first privately owned television and radio stations in Nigeria.
AIT has been host analysts who expressed clear objective opinions about the crisis in the country, including the uncompromising reportage of the Boko Haram  war in the north east.

The federal government through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had threatened the AIT over certain features on its early morning daily broadcast on Kakaki, ordering elimination of some features in the programme.

The management of Daar Communications, however, felt intimidated with the directive, perceiving the federal government to have singled out AIT as a scape-goat for sanctions.

Accordingly, NBC Director General, Isa’aq Modibbo, at a media briefing in Abuja, announced the suspension of the operation license of DAAR Communications PLC till further notice.

The NBC DG explained that the decision was taken because of the company’s persistent violations of the NBC’s broadcasting Code, despite several warnings from the Commission. The NBC DG maintained that Daar Communications defied all the warnings and behaved as if it cannot be regulated.

Modibbo declared: “this decision is not taken on any form of partisan consideration and the suspension stands until further notice.”

The Moreover, the NBC had increase license fee for private broadcasting organizations in the country to N500 million. Daar Communications was identified not to have met that payment and was, therefore, shut down until the organization fulfils that condition.

Meanwhile, some Nigerians have expressed disaffection over the shutdown of AIT and RayPower by the All Progressives Congress (APC) federal government.

“You increase License fee to N500 million for private broadcasting houses whereas Fed. Govt & State organs pay next to nothing. The private stations protest, negotiations are on- going, you vindictively target one, which you have singled out as a thorn in your flesh for punishment. Is this the democracy we fought for? APC has taken Nigeria to a different kind of low, as never witnessed before,” a stakeholder protested on the social media platform.

Another stakeholder in the Nigerian project also protested: “Sad. A very sad development; Now, we know who encouraged Abacha to almost took away DAAR Communications from Nigerians. Moreover, these saddists should know that Nigerians contributed their token to keep AIT on air…. So, the battle is not that of Raymond Dokpesi o!”

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