Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, has claimed that the administration of President Bola Tinubu has perfected a sinister plot to gag the media ahead of the release of records containing his FBI investigations.
He claimed the National Broadcasting Commission’s (NBC) threat to censure Arise Television News was just the tip of the iceberg.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Shaibu stated that the NBC had been observing as media platforms such as Television Continental (TVC) continually attacked Atiku and refused to even present opposing perspectives.
He claimed Tinubu’s administration was fed up with the Chicago State University controversy and planned a massive offensive in the coming days.
Shaibu added, “Back in February, the NBC tried to show a bit of fairness and fined TVC for unprofessional broadcasts, including the airing of the Joint Media Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council press briefing, where Festus Keyamo said Obasanjo and Atiku ran a criminal enterprise and an empire of fraud in Abuja.
“However, since Tinubu became president on May 29, the NBC has become more partisan than ever. The NBC boss, Balarabe Ilelah, is obviously seeking to retain his appointment and is now dancing to the tune of the APC and their master at the Presidential Villa.
“The NBC has now been co-opted into a grand plot to gag the media over Tinubu’s certificate scandal. Having lost the battle in the court of public opinion, they are now trying to use the powers of the state to browbeat the media into silence. This is indeed shameful for a man who claimed to be a hero of the June 12 struggle.”
Shaibu noted that this is not the time for the Nigerian media to show any weakness.
He stressed that the trove of documents that the FBI was set to release this month would expose details of the investigation on Tinubu.
Atiku’s aide added that the dissemination of this information must not be left to social media alone. The media must rise up to its role as the watchdog of society as enshrined in Section 22 of the 1999 constitution.