Why Tinubu reversed Buhari on AIT…
Fresh facts have emerged as to why the All Progressive Congress (APC), reversed President-Elect, General Mohammadu Buhari’s decision to unilaterally bar the crew of the African Independent Television (AIT), from covering his activities.
Buhari who parades some not very democratic credential dating back to 1983 when he was Head of State had barred the AIT apparently as a hit back at the station which aired a damaging documentary paid for by agents of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Buhari who is yet to shake off his anti democratic credentials, had used Decree 4 to gag the media. He also used a retroactive decree 22 to execute three young Nigerian drug traffickers.
Few days ago, the crew of the AIT was turned back at the Defence House, Buhari’s temporary official residence in Abuja. Shortly after the news went viral, his spokesman, Garba Shehu said “AIT has been asked to stay aside based on security and family concerns. In addition, 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 stay aside, because like I said there are some family and security concerns. They have been asked to step down their coverage until we resolve the matter with them on ethics and standard,” Mr. Shehu said
But in a curious twist, few hours later, the National Secretariat threw Shehu and Buhari under the bus.
Its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said the incoming Buhari Administration would not discriminate against any media organization, irrespective of its role during the electioneering campaign leading up to the recent polls.
The statement 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 organizations 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,” the APC said
Checks by Yankarireporters.com reveal that the move to bar AIT took the National Secretariat by surprise. The National leader, Bola Tinubu, and chairman, John Oyegun were not consulted by Buhari and his inner circle made up of core northerners.
It was learnt that Tinubu did not find it funny because he and his men believe it was a bad press, and he could be blamed because of his objection to the damaging documentary on him aired by AIT.
A top party source disclosed that when Tinubu heard of the action, he contacted Oyegun who denied knowledge.
” Asiwaju, and the chairman were not aware, it was a shock to him because , his argument was if his Television Continental, TVC, and Nation could operate unhindered, it was wrong to stop AIT because of a documentary that was paid for”
Yankarireporters.com further gathered that Tinubu tried to reach Buhari but could not so told his media aides that the action could backfire.
” Asiwaju tried to reach him but surprisingly could not so he told some members of his media team led by Shehu that the action would not stand . He then contacted Lai Mohammed and told him to issue a statement distancing the party from the President-elect’s action. He then called Oyegun,and briefed him”
The move by Tinubu and Mohammed did not go down well with the Buhari key allies , who saw the reversal by Tinubu as embarrassing.
Buhari it was learnt, told Tinubu, he( Buhari) should have been contacted before the reversal, but Tinubu said he could not reach him, and considering the urgency it had to be done.
” Asiwaju also told the General that on such issues as the activities of the president-elect, key party men, including the VP must be in the know”
Sources within the party hinted that there is a dichotomy cropping up within the APC that could rip the party apart.
It was gathered that while Buhari most times briefs some northern elders, and some key aides of northern stock, Tinubu is often by passed. On the other hand, Tinubu leads the southern bloc of the party with VP-Elect , Yemi Osinbajo as his eye in the presidency, who should watch Buhari closely.
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