The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the suspension of the licences of AIT and Raypower FM by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The opposition party said the decision was an attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled federal government to cage the media.
In a statement, Kola Ologbondiyan, national publicity secretary of the party, said the action was targeted at “intimidating and gagging the media, repress constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and stifle public opinion, particularly as related to the determination by Nigerians to retrieve the stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal.”
The spokesman said the ruling party was aware of the decision, adding that Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, director-general of the NBC, “is a card carrying member and frontline leader in the APC who was also an aspirant on the platform of the party for the governorship of Kwara state.”
“This clamp down on AIT as well as earlier siege on other media houses and journalists under the APC administration, ostensibly point to a plot to frighten and asphyxiate the media, shut down outlets perceived to hold dissenting views and ultimately foist a siege mentality on our citizenry to restrain their demand for fairness and justice in the polity,” he said.
“The APC is mortally afraid that a free press will raise the red flag and expose its manipulations and any attempt to subvert the course of justice, especially in the Presidential petition, hence this desperation to strangulate the media and cow Nigerians from freely expressing themselves.”
He called on Nigerians and members of the international community to condemn “this desperation to gag the media and repress free speech in Nigeria.”
Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications Plc, had earlier accused presidency of using NBC to frustrate his stations.
Nothing To Attract Fayose To ‘Confused’ APC — Ex-Gov’s Aide
Lere Olayinka, media aide to former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said that there is nothing that can attract any right thinking politician to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) let alone his principal.
Olayinka said this in a statement on Friday in reaction to a statement by the APC in Ekiti State, that Fayose was not qualified to join the party.
Olayinka said “it is funny that the APC in Ekiti State lied and went further to react to its own lies.”
He added; “As I write, Fayose is presently in a meeting of major stakeholders of the PDP in Ekiti State in the house of Senator Clement Awoyelu.”
He admonished the ruling party to focus its attention on its non-performing government.
He described the report of Fayose’s threat to join APC should his adopted candidate for the State chairmanship of the PDP, Hon Bisi Kolawole, fails in the forthcoming State Congress as figment of the imagination of those peddling it.
“The story of Fayose’s threat to leave PDP for the APC is one of the lies from the APC factory of lies and it is even more childish that the party in Ekiti State went ahead to react to its own lies,” he said.
While saying there was nothing to attract any right thinking politician to the APC, Olayinka asked; “is it the killings and kidnappings going on across the country?
“Is it the pariah State that Nigeria has become such that USA had to place the country on visa restrictions? Is it the huge debt the country has been plunged into? Or is it the directionless state of the country?
“Is it the sacking of over 3,000 workers by the non-performing APC government in Ekiti State?
“Most importantly, is it the confused state of the APC, which has made even the State Chairman of the party in Ekiti State, Mr. Paul Omotoso, to join others in calling for the removal of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole?
“What is there in the APC to attract someone like Fayose, who is known for his stand in support of the masses of Nigeria that are being made to suffer more hardship by the APC government?
“They can continue to hallucinate about everything Ayodele Fayose, while he continues with his task of to rebuild the PDP in Ekiti State with a view to returning to power in 2022.”
UPP Merges With APC
The United Progressive Party (UPP), on Friday, said it had merged with the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Consequently, it said that it would not take the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court over its deregistration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that UPP was recently deregistered by INEC alongside 73 other political parties.
Dr Chekwas Okorie, a former National Chairman of UPP, in a statement in Abuja, said that the decision was reached by all stakeholders in the party.
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and other stakeholders of UPP met on Feb. 20 at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja.
“We reviewed the action of INEC in deregistering UPP along with 73 other political parties and we resolved not to challenge INEC in the court of law.
“ We, however, commend the parties that have headed for the court, knowing that it is within their constitutional right to approach the courts for judicial intervention,’’ Okorie said.
He hinted that the party reviewed a number of options available to it, including the hands of fellowship extended to our party by some of the political parties that survived the INEC deregistration.
Okorie said that on Aug. 17, 2018, the party’s NEC opted to support President Muhammadu Buhari for his second term, during which its members were directed to campaign for APC.
He said that the directive was carried out without any dissenting voice from the party nationwide.
“In view of our present circumstances, our party resolved unanimously that the most logical follow-up to our earlier chosen political trajectory would be to collapse all our structures from the ward to the national level into APC.
“We have, therefore, directed our members at all levels to proceed to register as members of APC at their various wards of origin or those where they are resident.
“Before arriving at this final decision, we consulted widely, not only among ourselves but with the leaders and stakeholders of APC where we have been assured of a warm welcome and equal opportunities for all bona fide members of the ruling party,’’ he said.
Okorie, who recalled that UPP was registered on Oct. 22, 2012 and existed for almost eight years, noted that the party exhibited the highest level of internal party democracy, discipline and cohesion within the period of its existence.
He also said that within the period, UPP never experienced any division at any level of the party’s administration and structure.
He, therefore, urged UPP members to exhibit this commendable character in the APC so that they would stand out as disciplined members of the APC and contribute their own quota to the growth of the party.
You’re Not Qualified To Join Us — APC Tells Fayose
The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has advised a former governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, to perish the thought of defecting to the APC.
The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Ade Ajayi, said this in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday.
He said the party was not a dumping ground “for failed politicians,” adding that Fayose was not wanted in the party because of his antecedents.
This was contained in a statement he signed. Ajayi described the APC as “a disciplined, refined and integrity-inclined type which would not tolerate people like Fayose,” adding that “Fayose is not qualified to be a member of the APC in the state.”
The party, which was reacting to a statement allegedly credited to Fayose to the effect that he would defect to the APC if his ordained Peoples Democratic Party state chairmanship aspirant failed in his bid for the job.
To this, Ajayi said, “We will not welcome him to the great and decent family in the state.
“It is better he stays back in his PDP to get it more destroyed instead of coming to a principled, disciplined, transparent, law-abiding and organised party like the APC.
“The Ekiti APC members know the people behind the masquerade and thereby warn people like Fayose not to turn the APC to a dumping ground where they can defect to.”