APC Overrules Buhari On AIT Ban As Criticisms Soar
BEVERLY HILLS, April 28, (THEWILL) – The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that all accredited media organizations in the country, including the African Independent Television (AIT), are free to cover the activities of the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari had on Monday barred AIT from his official Defence House residence in Abuja and ordered the broadcasting company to stop covering his programmes citing security, ethical and family concerns.
“AIT has been asked to stay aside based on security and family concerns. In addition, General Buhari has decided that they will have to resolve some issues relating to issues of standard and ethics. We will be talking with them to try and resolve the matter but for now, the station has been asked to stand aside because, like I said, there are some family and security concerns,” Garba Shehu, Buhari's spokesman told the press.
The directive by Buhari, a former military dictator, received mixed reactions from the public with some responders on social media accusing the president-elect of trampling on press freedom.
But in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party upturned the ban saying the incoming Buhari Administration will not discriminate against any media organization, irrespective of its role during the electioneering campaign leading up to the recent polls.
It however enjoined all media organizations to observe the highest level of professional standards in carrying out their duties.
“There is a Code of Ethics guiding the practice of journalism in Nigeria, and this demands every journalist to ensure a strict adherence to the highest levels of ethics and professionalism in carrying out their duties.
“There must be repercussions, within the realms of the law, for media organisations which have wantonly breached the Code of Ethics of the journalism profession and turned themselves to partisans instead of professionals. But such repercussions will not include barring any accredited media organization from covering the activities of the President-elect,” APC said.