The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has tackled the federal government for using the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to clampdown on Channels TV.
Naija News recall that the NBC had last week Thursday summoned anchors of Channels TV to explain their role in an interview Governor Samuel Ortom and retired Naval officer, Kunle Olawunmi, granted the private television station.
Sources had told Naija News that though the anchors were not invited by security agents, NBC’s invitation was just a ploy to intimidate the presenters.
Reacting in a statement by its Capoon, Abiola Owoaje, Pyrates stated that the NBC’s action was clearly an act of “professional intimidation, disrespect for democratic ethos and a flagrant abuse of regulatory power.”
“The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) wish to restate our concerns over the Commission’s incredible disdain for professional journalistic ethics and political neutrality, a blatantly partisan interpretation of its core mandate and a growing intolerance for freedom of expression by Nigerians, and by extension press freedom.
“Its predilection to suppress views considered dissenting or critical of the government through harassment, and intimidation of broadcasting stations is unbecoming of the professionalism and patriotism expected of a regulatory agency,” it said.
NAS stated that the NBC is now an appendage of the Buhari administration and has abandoned its core mandate to create an enabling environment for broadcasting to thrive.
The group stated that the presidency should have used the opportunity the Ortom interview brought to reassure the public of its good faith and positive intentions, on the serious security concerns of the citizenry.
The confraternity stated that the Buhari administration is only deploying clandestine tactics to escape the necessary scrutiny of a democratic system.
“To be sure, it must be stressed that press freedom is not a matter of choice that is dependent on prescribed behaviour, but a fundamental pillar of a healthy democratic system,” it added.