Saturday, 4 April 2015

OPINION: The Nemesis of Pettiness: Focus on AIT And NTA

I switched on my TV set this morning and saw a documentary showing the disenfranchisement of Rotimi Amaechi and The APC in Rivers State. I was shocked when I looked at the station logo and discovered to my amazement that it was AIT. I was speechless. In a strange and bizarre hypocritical turnaround, AIT has somersaulted and has started praising APC while NTA suddenly announced that Buhari now has a masters degree. How petty can people get? NTA is pardonable because it is a state run media house but what stunned Nigerians was AIT.
High chief, Raymond Dokpesi disappointed many Nigerians and made an errant mockery of professional journalism when it aligned with the PDP and started airing biased, libelous and outright defamative programmes laced in falsehood in mockery of eminent Nigerians whom are members of the APC during the 2015 presidential election campaigns.

AIT became a pawn in the chess board of the PDP and broadcast obscenities in an apperent smear campaign against the opposition. Ordinarily, AIT as a privately owned TV Station, is entitled to collect money to advertise or air anything it wants on its privately owned radio station. However, when it comes to public issues, news or matters affecting the destiny of our nation, it should be a criminal act for a nationally licensed TV Station to allow itself to be used shamelessly to propagate falsehood against a contestant in the Nigerian elections.

The truth is that Dokpesi,  AIT and Raypower, as one of the most widely networked TV and Radio stations in Nigeria, has a serious responsibility to inform Nigeria only of FACTS, and not be complicit in any nefarious attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting Nigerians, who trust the network to report the news to them daily.

Right after running their sham documentary for the umpteenth time, they decided to run a flash poll for Nigerians to choose who their President should be between Jonathan and Buhari. To their shock and amazement, they poll showed that over 70% of the people who voted on the AIT  Poll still preferred Buhari regardless of the shameful lies against him! With this betrayal of trust by AIT, and public embarrassment brought on by the fact that their little cheap ploy has backfired, the AIT hurriedly removed the poll and claimed their poll was hacked!

The Director of Public Affairs at the NBC, Mr. Awwalu Salihu, said,
“AIT has defaulted with a number of unprofessional conducts. The contraventions include breaches of the rules on the broadcast of sponsored electoral campaign materials, which failed to conform to the standards of truth, decency and good taste, and requiring the sponsor to be clearly identified.

“Other breaches included the airing of campaign materials or programmes that promoted political parties or candidates within the 24-hour prohibition period, as well as unauthorised networking by a group of stations.”
The NBC spokesman said that AIT will be queried or sanctioned according to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
Also, the European Union Election Observation Mission Chief Observer, Santiago Fisas, said during the presentation of the mission’s preliminary statement in a press conference in Abuja that EU’s media monitoring team discovered that government-controlled broadcast media exhibited partisanship by giving advantage to the incumbent at federal or state level.

AIT and the entire Raypower Networks should be sued and heavily fined. Dokpesi should be jailed to serve as deterrent to other shameless, unprofessional and compromisable media houses who broadcast falsehood in return for financial gains.

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