Connect with us


Channels TV’s NBC N5million: Intimidation, not regulation



When George Bush decided to take down Saddam Hussein, he packaged what could have been a personal dispute, perhaps in the oil business – since the both were in the same line – as a national issue. He told the world how then Iraqi President, was a global threat to peace and stability.

Of course, only a little scratch on the surface could have revealed the lies behind this line of story.

But many chose to ignore that simple action that would have raised the relevant questions which could, if asked, led to the abatement of the ill-fated onslaught not only Iraq, one of the most thriving countries of the world at that time, but humanity as a whole.

How could any question be asked when the established media took on the project and began to, in a projct, decked on massive propaganda of the German World War era, trumpet every imaginable scar-mongering, scenario that favoured the thinking of the White House in Washington.

Yet, it was that pregnant woman wheeled into the theatre by Bush and his acolytes at The Pentagon, that eventually delivered the hydra-headed monster that ran riot across the world and continues to do so, even till date. Bush did not only remove, Saddam, he killed him. But was that the end of the story?

Just like a man who strikes a machete on a hard rock should expect some to the specs to fly into his eyes, America has remained a major beneficiary, as it it is a victim of that campaign some two decades ago.

Some have said that evil campaign meant on the surface as an attempt to keep the world safe, was a plot for the US to sell weapons, as well as dip its hose into the rich Iraqi wealth, especially oil. But, if true at what cost? For instance, what was the human toll in the end? Millions on and still counting. How much did the US spend to contain the ISIS and how much was spent in the aftermath of the 9-11 including the huntdown of Ossam Bin Ladin and his Al Qaeda. Thse were all linked to the killing of Saddam and distabilisation of Iraq.

It was the same story when Barak Obama and his NATO allies, wanted to kill Muammer Gaddafi of Libya. They employed the same raw power and propaganda to do so. It was the tale of how the late Libyan strong man was “killing his people.” Images of massacres in Benghazi were released to a stunned world to back up the plot, of course with the imprimatur of the same established media.

After the onslaught and the death of Gaddafi, what has been the result? Many countries across Africa has been bearing the brunt of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons including Nigeria, where groups like Boko Haram and Fulani bandits have been on rampage for years.

When Ibrahim Babangida, as Military President was confronted by heavy resistance from Nigerians for annulling the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, he came out with the infamous statement – we’re not only in government, we’re in power, a clear threat to browbeat the agitators and have his way.

So the current din in Nigeria at the moment should not surprise anybody. In fact, few countries of the world have shown the propensity for the use of raw power as Nigeria, at least in Africa. In proving its authority, the institutions have always presented themselves as tools in the hands of government. From the first and second republics till date, public institutions have always come handy in the plots of government to whip the people into line.

While the electoral bodies became the purveyors of discredited elections, the courts were always there to validate them, while both the media and the police, provided the needed buffer in their own ways in this regard. It was in the second republic that Sunday Adewusi’s mobile policemen showed their massive skills in putting down resistance to the shenanigans of then ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN). Those were the days of landslide victories, on the popular Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Nigerians were forced to listen to bogus and bare-faced lies about election results, but were helpless to counter or do anything about it.

Today, however, despite the proliferation of private television houses in the country, and the fact that the NTA and such other megaphones are no longer the sole source of information, the government has found the a way around controlling what the public must hear.

That task is now with the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC). In recent years, this has been clear from the manner the agency carries out its functions. Nobody has been left in doubt that the NBC has become a tool in the hands of the powers that be to protect the government and or its actions against public view.

Take the recent fine of N5million slammed against Channels Television by the agency. What offence could anyone have ascribed to the station or its anchor, Seun Okinbaloye. How was he to know what Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed was going to say. In fact, what the whole public saw was an attempt to caution and direct his guest to the proper conduct. Short of shutting down the programme, what would he have done.

Come to think about it, what really did the Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), say that was out of place? The proper reading of the entire statement, was that it would be illegal for Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be sworn in as President, because he did not satisfy one of the key provisions of the law, mandating a candidate of a political party in an election to score 25 per cent of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), outside winning majority of lawful votes and winning 25 per cent votes in 24 of the 36 states in Nigeria?

Now the next day or so, the same station, on the same Politics Today programme, gave Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the Tinubu campaigns an equal airtime to counter Datti-Ahmed, where he spoke as forcefully as only he could, using even stronger words to emphasise why Tinubu should be sworn in.

But you would be falling into their deceptive trap to think that it is about what was said and not said, rather than an attempt to ensure that the government position is promoted over and above the public position on matters concerning the country. It is simply a function of not wanting to be held responsible for the embarrassment that has become the lot of the government over the 2023 elections.

It is a damage control mechanism to stifle popular opinions than any form of professional infractions. It is also a warning to other stations to be wary on whom to invite to their programmes. Because other stations may not have a grasp of what their guests would say, the safest bet is to leave out the opposition or at best, invite those with supine, insipid and watery views, who would rather call a spade an agricultural instrument.

Indeed, anybody who knows the workings of these agencies would be surprised that the NBC toed the line it did in this matter. The letter of Bayo Onanuga, to the body calling out Channels, was nothing less than an order for it to act. And what else is there for a body whose leadership are all appointees of the government, but to fall in line? The alternative is resignation. But whoever resigns in Nigeria?

Incidentally, the radio and television, which belong to the broadcast arm of journalism, does not enjoy the level of freedom the print media enjoys as a result of the historical evolution. Newspapers and magazines self-regulate and therefore not open to the vice grip of government interference given out as regulation. Outside libel, they have very little to fear from government outside, perhaps lack of patronage in terms of advertisements.

Besides, at the extreme, where there were deliberate clampdowns, especially during military regimes, such moves had always been met with stiff resistance as they had always fought back through many means, including the courts.

The outcome is that the government even in many times of great discomfiture and annoyance, remain circumspect in toeing the line of any official actions. Thus, confrontations are few and far in-between.

In the instant case, it is clear that the attempt on Channels TV smacks more of intimidation than regulation. What remains is if the organisation would allow itself to be so gagged or fight back. What it would of course determine the role the broadcast segment of the Nigerian media contributes in the larger picture of nation-building. Will it buckle or fight back? Whichever way, Nigeria’s future is at stake. So is its democracy.


Why Trump must never smell White House again – Pence



Donald Trump, former President of the United States, would now be slugging it out with his former deputy Mike Pence for the ticket of the Republican Party to next year’s presidential election, having fully launched his campaigns for that purpose.

Pence, who did not part with his former principal on a friendly note, following his rejection in joining Trump to protest the outcome of the last election, which threw them out of office, was at a community college in Iowa on Wednesday, where he accused Trump of abandoning conservative principles.

He also accused Trump of dereliction of duty on January 6, 2021 – the day the US Capitol Building was invaded by insurrectionists, adding that the former President, besieged the Capitol after the former president insisted he could overturn election results.

The former Vice President, who is one of the frontrunners for the Republican ticket, also condemned Trump’s anti-conservative values and abortion stance, adding that the former POTUS should never be re-elected for putting himself above the US constitution.

“I believe anyone that puts themselves over the constitution should never be president of the United States, and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the constitution should never be president of the United States again.

“After leading the most pro-life administration in American history, Donald Trump and others in this race are retreating from the cause of the unborn. The sanctity of life has been our party’s calling for half a century-long before Trump was a part of it. Now he treats it as an inconvenience, even blaming our election losses in 2022 on overturning Roe v. Wade.”

Pence pledged to “restore a threshold of civility in public life,” saying the country needs leaders who know the difference between the “politics of outrage and standing firm”.


Continue Reading




Again Nigeria, has missed out in the list of African countries given the official nod to visit Canada without visa, as two other countries for the continent has been added to the list of 13 different countries across Asia, Africa, Central and South America, announced by the country’s authorities.

The Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, said visa-free travel is extended to Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts-Nevis, Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Morocco, Seychelles, st. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand and the Philippines.

While north Africa’s Morocco and East Africa’s Seychelles joined the list, Nigeria the most populous African nation didn’t make the cut, with Fraser, saying: “An expansion of the electronic travel authorization better known as the eTA programs makes it easier for ‘known travellers’ from those countries to come here for fun and business.’

Stating that the expansion not only enhanced convenience for travellers, it would also increase travel, tourism and economic benefits, as well as strengthen global bonds with these 13 countries, he said: “The known travellers from these countries can save a lot of money as a result of the visa exemptions.”

A visitor visa currently costs $100 per person and $500 for a family of five or more, but an eTA only costs seven dollars per person and is valid for as long as five years.

According to the government, introducing visa-free air travel will make it faster, easier, and more affordable for thousands of travellers to visit Canada for up to six months for either business or leisure.

Continue Reading


Police save man, lady accused of ritual murder from lynch-mob in Anambra *Say victims innocent



It has turned out that the two people, a man and a lady, seen in a viral video, being assaulted by an angry mob who were about to set them on fire for allegedly killing two men in Anambra community for ritual purposes, are not guilty of the offence.

Anambra State Police Command, who confirmed on Thursday that the two had been rescued by their operatives, from the hands of the angry mob in Ihiala, Ihiala Local Government Area of the state, who attempted to set them on fire, claimed that they were being wrongly accused.

Spokesman of the command Tochukwu Ikenga, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), and spokesman of the command, who made the disclosure in a statement, said that its operatives rescued two victims and a suspect who was about to be lynched by an angry mob at the Total Junction in Ihiala.

Stating that the incident was not a case of ritual killing but a pure incident of murder, he said: “Preliminary information reveals that the two victims, a man and a woman, who were humiliated and paraded as shown in social media video by the angry mob, were erroneously accused by the mob. The victims were seen at the scene where the murder took place and were not the perpetrators.”

Ikenga, who informed that both the suspect and the victims were currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital while the deceased has been deposited in a morgue, appealed to the public never to take laws into their hands irrespective of assumed offence.

Disclosing that the Commissioner of Police (CP), Echeng Echeng, was already on top of the situation and had since sued for calm, he added that the police boss had also ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), for a comprehensive investigation, while assuring that further developments would be communicated to the public and that all residents to go about their lawful duties.

Continue Reading