From Maiharaji Altine, Gusau
he Chief Operating Officer, COO of Vision Media Services, Malam Shuaibu Yusuf Mungadi has described the suspension of a popular program ‘Idon Mikiya’ aired on Vision FM and Farin Wata TV by the National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC) as unjust, unfair.
Mungadi expressed surprise on how a credible government’s organ like the NBC under the democratic dispensation could take such a drastic action without querying the Management of the Vision Media Services.
in a letter titled:”Prejudicial content on Idon Mikiya: A suspension order”, earlier the NBC said it “monitored the broadcast of your programme, Idon Mikiya on 5th January, 2022 on your station Vision FM and Farin Wata TV, with concern.
The NBC has faulted the Vision Media Services for discussing some issues affecting the Federal Government which included the appointments at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) saying that it constituted a breach of the provision of section 39(3) (b) of the 1999 construction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This section imposes restrictions on matters concerning Government security services or agencies established by the law.
The restriction letter sent to the the Vision Media Services reads:
“Your discussion of issues including appointments at the National Intelligence Agency(NIA) constitutes a breach of the provisions of Section 39(3)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which imposes restriction on matters concerning Government Security Services or Agencies established by law”.
“Transmitting the Trade Secrets or other issues regarding a National Security Agency amounts to an act prejudicial to National Security contrary to the above section cited”.
For this reason, NBC suspended the programme for six months and also imposed a five million Naira fine on the station.
In his reaction to this sad development, Mungadi said the genesis of this saga was the trenchant discussions on its programme aired on Vision FM and Farin Wata TV about the Ikoyigate in which the funds were traced to the NIA.
There were also chats over another tranche of money allegedly recovered from the NIA headquarters by a former acting DG and the unconfirmed rumours surrounding that.
Mungadi maitained that, as journalists, they have the records of these happenings lamenting that, “The Government neither take any action, no make any explanation”.
“As watchdogs of the society, we must ask questions because members of the public are entitled to know what happened to Ikoyigate?
“What happened to the culprit? What happened to the money?Who and who are involved ?Who was punished and so on”?
He maintained that if Magu could be probed, if the military could be indicted by this government and many of them arrested and prosecuted, there was no reason why the Ikoyigate scandal could not be investigated.
Mungadi explained that, there were also discussions surrounding the NIA Reform Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari and headed by Ambassador Babagana Kingibe while the current NIA DG served as a security of the committee.
Mungadi stressed that, some top officials of the Government were not happy with the investigative and journalistic questions raised during the Idon Mikiya program on Ikoyigate, concluding that, “We are only doing our job as journalists as provided by the constitution of the country”.