Leadership of Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy, VATLAD, yesterday, urged Nigeria’s President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) tolet go all the hate campaigns which did not succeed in motivating Nigerian voters against him.
VATLAD in a statement by its National President and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Igbini Emmanuel and Comrade Wilson Oba respectively, said; “We have carefully analysed the reason given by President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari barring Africa Independent Television, AIT from covering his functions.
“While we agree that some of the paid documentaries aired by AIT during the election campaigns were laced with lots of misinformation, hates and falsehoods against the ethic of the journalism profession and violated some provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 and Section 39 the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended, we hasten to state that almost all the media Organizations (electronic and print) including those owned and managed by the Federal and State governments of Nigeria were also guilty of the same offence during the campaigns.
“It is also a fact that some leading electronic and print media organizations owned by top Chieftains and Associates of All Progressive Congress (APC) were also biased against President Jonathan and his PDP. It is also instructed to remind us that media organizations in United States of America and all over the world where Democracy has advanced, still display outright bias against or in favour of Political Parties and their candidates during election campaigns. Yet after the elections, such media houses are never punished by the new government.
“In the light of the above, we wish to strongly condemn this decision by President-elect, General Buhari as it sends a very disturbing signal to Nigerians and true lovers of Democracy. It portents danger to our nascent Democracy, Freedom of Expression and Press as guaranteed by Section 39 of Nigerian 1999 Constitution as amended.
“He should realize that one of the major reasons advanced against him during his election campaigns was the fear of him re-enacting the infamous military Decree of 1984 which was unfriendly to the media and threatened Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression by Nigerians.
“Most importantly, we wish to remind General Buhari that he is no longer Presidential Candidate of APC or General Buhari (rtd) as an individual but that he is now Nigerian constitutionally recognised President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in-waiting hence he now enjoys almost all Rights and Privileges of President accorded to the incumbent President of Nigeria which includes his residing now in Nigeria’s Presidential Villa and provided maximum Security.
“He is also the President of all private and public owned institutions in Nigeria come May 29, 2015 which includes AIT and therefore he must display equal treatment and Justice to all. If he must punish one, he must punish all. However, with the elections over, he should let go all the hate campaigns which did not succeed in motivating Nigerian voters against him.
“We also wish to appeal to proprietors and management of media organizations in Nigeria, to strictly abide by the ethics of the Profession. They should stop abusing the privilege granted them to operate media houses. The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) should also rise up promptly to her constitutional Duty to sanction any media Organization found guilty of unethical practice”