African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM on Thursday had their licences withdrawn by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The development to many did not come as a shock given repeated warnings issued by the regulatory body to the broadcast stations.
They are accused of disseminating unedited user-generated contents from the social media which are against the government.
The broadcast commission is also accusing the stations of failing to abide by the commission’s directives by violating the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
A source in one of the firms told POLITICS TIMES that security operatives took over the premises of the broadcast stations hours after the withdrawal of the license was issued.
As usual, Nigerians on various social media are reacting to the development. While some applaud the action taken by the NBC as long overdue, others are condemning the indefinite suspension.
While shutting down operations, the operator of the broadcast stations vowed to seek legal redress and return on air in no distant time.
Below are some reactions to the development captured by POLITICS TIMES.
2. The level of indisciple in our nation is gross. Only the application of consequences can force people to do the right things
Pres @MBuhari must appoint people who have skills, competence plus bravery, courage, & the political will to make hard decisions.
That's where I stand
— Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) June 7, 2019
The suspension of @AIT_Online is an utterly condemnable act.The suspension is politically motivated.Its an act of ingratitude & treachery to strangulate the very media outlet that has played a pivotal role in the struggle for the restoration and defense of democracy.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) June 6, 2019
AIT shut down!
I warned Nigerians in 2015 and I was maligned and hated for it. I warned Nigerians in 2019 and I was ignored, despised and ostracised for it. Even now Nigerians still don't know the nature of the monster that plagues and afflicts them. The worst is yet to come.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) June 6, 2019
A free press is essential to democracy. The #AITBAN is wrong no matter the circumstances. There should be other ways to enforce compliance to ethics . Hate speech& incitment are not acceptable, it is why we need to self regulate to improve standards & stave off state censorship
— Kadaria Ahmed (@KadariaAhmed) June 7, 2019
There is nothing in that letter from NBC to AIT that reaches the threshold for withdrawal of license and shut down of a Media house that we all know Government perceives as an “Opposition media”.
Wisdom should have actually instructed the FG against striking out at them. ✍🏾
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) June 7, 2019
Amnesty International condemns suspension of @AIT_Online & @RaypowerNetwork by Nigerian authorities. This heavy handed clampdown is clearly a ploy to undermine independent media and freedom of the press. #Nigeria
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) June 7, 2019
Buhari attacked the Judiciary;
Attacked the Legislature;
Attacked the Civic space;
Unlawfully removed CJN Onnoghen;
Just shutdown AIT;
He refused to obey Court Orders;
Why will anyone think Buhari cannot shutdown Social Media?
Nigerians must have sense by force.
— Comrade Deji Adeyanju (@adeyanjudeji) June 6, 2019
If, at this time, we stand by as the Press loses its independence, there will be little to differentiate us from a dictatorship. This should not happen. -AA
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) June 6, 2019
The @OfficialPDPNig condemns, in its totality, the unrelenting attempt by the @OfficialAPCNg controlled federal government to cage the media as being witnessed in the ferocious attacks on @AIT_Online by government agencies, particularly the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) pic.twitter.com/q7h0SLnmYM
— Official PDP Nigeria (@OfficialPDPNig) June 6, 2019
— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) June 6, 2019
I'm not even a Buhari fan, but the media isn't supposed to be biased…. The fact that other media houses have been doing it and getting away with it in the past doesn't make it right.. There's constructive criticism, and then there's this #AITUnderSiege pic.twitter.com/X7c6YmNtba
— Retardinho #mufc (@3mmanhu3l) June 7, 2019
When you see things like these what would you think?👇
I mean, i have watched AIT so much that i know they've been bought. Take it or leave it Daar Coms. have been compromised for a long time now. #AITUnderSiege pic.twitter.com/tr0aYF1nR1
— Miss Udokachi (@GabrielUdokachi) June 7, 2019
The suppression of FreePress remains a chronic element in the seriatim of aberrations under this administration. The demonstration of impunity by the unconscionable partisan hireling at NBC is a condemnable tell-tale of deeper woes to come. #AITunderSiege #NextLevelWoes
— SEGA L'éveilleur®🚨 (@segalink) June 7, 2019
Why is @AsoRock official handle reporting the NBC suspension of AIT and RayPower Broadcast Licences?🤔🤔
— Debola (@dbola01) June 7, 2019
#AITUnderSiege Suspension until further notice. Nigeria is not a jungle..
The NBC has guidelines, the NBC was established by the laws of the federal republic of Nigeria. AIT knew they must abide by the NBC broadcasting act.
Remain closed until further notice or go to court. pic.twitter.com/3Oqeb2o6At
— Dr. Guendouzi (Yaro mai Lokachi ) (@fimiletoks) June 6, 2019
Assuming Twitter is owned by a Nigerian 😂 NBC would have shut it down many times unless they agree to be tamed like NTA and Channels. That's why they wouldnt create an enabling #Nigeria for such app to flourish. They prefer low level NPower.#AITUnderSiege #PressFreedom #Buhari
— AyeMojuba 💕🇳🇬 (@ayemojubar) June 7, 2019
Now they are recruiting so-called celebs like TBOSS. To push the narrative that social media is bad for 🇳🇬
— Åkukaria ⭐️ (@AkukariaSA) June 7, 2019
The fight is against DEMOCRACY, not @AIT_Online. How does DICTATORSHIP start? They are about to impose their LACKEY, Ahmed Lawan, as Senate President. They removed Onnoghen and put their MINION, TANKO, as CJN. The only obstacle to DICTATORSHIP is the press, hence AIT #RenosDarts
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) June 7, 2019
NBC cannot be the Accuser, Prosecutor and the Judge. Revocation of the licence of AIT is unjustifiable and legally untenable. This is an abuse of regulatory powers. Democracy is useless if media houses are to report only what the government wants to hear. I condemn this action.
— Inibehe Effiong (@InibeheEffiong) June 6, 2019