The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has condemned the suspension of the licence of DAAR Communications Plc, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower over “breach of broadcasting code”.
In a statement on Friday in Abuja, Funke Egbemode, president of the guild, described the action by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as a witch-hunt and an unnecessary show of excessive force.
On Thursday, the NBC said it suspended the licences of the two stations until further notice.
“The Fourth Estate of the Realm remains the watchdog of society and any attempt to gag it in any guise is an affront on democracy and the people,” she said.
“The Guild is concerned about the violation of the constitutional rights of DAAR Communications and absence of media freedom in performing their roles as the watchdog of the Nigerian society.
“The Guild is strongly of the opinion that the NBC, in exercising its regulatory powers, should concentrate on implementing policies that will position Nigeria’s broadcasting to compete in the global spheres.
“It is to be recalled that NBC had, before the 2019 general elections, shut down Joy FM in Jos for violations of the broadcasting code.
“In 2018, the NBC shut down Ekiti Radio/TV station. Shutting down stations and withdrawing licences are too extreme in the circumstance.
“There must be humane and saner ways to resolve disputes bordering on violation of the Broadcasting Code, rather than engage in witch-hunting and unnecessary show of excessive force.”