Resign and face partisan politics, NBC and VON DGs told

Posted by News Express | 24 September 2018 | 2,236 times

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•HURIWA National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko

A prominent pro-democracy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to give immediate marching orders to all his political office holders who are eyeing elective positions in the forthcoming election to quit public service, to avoid compromising integrity and impartiality of such strategic national institutions.

Specifically, HURIWA has tasked Buhari to save the Voice of Nigeria (VON), a publicly-funded broadcasting agency, and the country’s institutional regulator of the broadcasting industry, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), “from the current stranglehold of biases and deeply entrenched partisanship of their heads by forcing them to resign or be dismissed, to pave the way for completely non-partisan technocrats with patriotic zeal to pilot the affairs of those organisations.

According to HURIWA, Director Generals of both the VON and NBC, who are fanatical card-carrying members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have reportedly bought; filled and submitted expression/nomination forms to vie for offices of governor of Kwara State, and Senator representing Enugu West senatorial zone in next year’s elections.”

In a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it was “disheartening and disappointing” that Buhari “has allowed his appointees with open ambitions to run for elective offices to continue to shortchange the Nigerian people and undermine public trust, by letting these partisan card-carrying members of his political family to enjoy the unfair and illegal advantage over their opponents/rivals even in the same political party by enjoying official privileges and deploying public fund at their disposal to service their selfish political agenda to the detriment of such strategic national institutions.”

The rights group reminded President Buhari that by the intendment of section 22 of the Constitution the media terrain, whether privately or publicly-funded, is a totally non-partisan sphere of influence with the underlying objective of serving as the consciences of the nation devoid of political influences and divisiveness.

HURIWA singled out DGs of NBC (Alhaji Ishaq Modibbo Kawu), VON (Mr. Osita Okechukwu), and Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, who is eyeing the governorship of Oyo State, as “persons who must be made to quit their positions to face their individual campaigns or be fired so competent and much more committed technocrats without political ambitions to be appointed to discharge the statutory duties for which these positions and institutions were established.”

HURIWA wondered why neither the President nor the Secretary to the Government of the Federation have taken concrete and verifiable steps to enforce compliance to the enabling laws governing those institutions and order these political office holders to quit in public interest so as to chase after their individual but altogether legitimate ambitions to win elective positions in their states of origin as already indicated by them.

 

 


Source: News Express

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